Dendrobium Isabel Sander

Week 21: Aug 10, 2020

Phalaenopsis Isabel Sander

(Den. dearei x

Den. sanderae)

This week I would like to present Dendrobium Isabel Sander (Den. dearei x Den. sanderae).

I found interesting that this cross has been created/registered by Sanders (St. Albans) in 1937 and involves two very similar Dendrobium species from Section Formosae.

I believe that var. luzonicum was used in this cross from Den. sanderae (there are several varieties in this species). It’s endemic to the Catalyan Island to the north of Luzon (Philippine). This variety becomes common in cultivation now.

Den. dearei less common, but looks very similar to Den. sanderae.

Previous Awards:

There is 1 AOS award for this cross - Den. Isabel Sander ‘M&M Orchids’ AM/AOS 80 pts from 2017.


The candidate plant has 22 flowers and buds total on two canes.

On one inflorescence on right cane - 8 open flowers, 2 partially open flowers and 1 bud (total 11).

On second inflorescence on left cane - 5 open flowers, 2 partially open flowers and 4 buds (total 11).

Plus one immature inflorescence.

Growing in 15 cm clay pot in Orchiata.

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 6.5 cm; NS V - 5.0 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 0.9 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 3.0 cm;

Petal W - 3.3 cm; Petals L - 3.0 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 0.9 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 3.0 cm;

Lip/Pouch W - 2.5 cm; Lip/Pouch L - 3.4 cm.

Judges' Comments

Al Messina

17 flowers and 5 buds on two inflorescences on two canes of a well-grown, multi-growth plant. Inconsistency of petal form would lower score significantly. Flower count per inflorescence significantly higher than 2017 (‘M&M Orchids’). Appears to be some inconsistency in lips as well. Petal form problems also apparent in previous award; not uncommon in primary Dendrobium hybrids. Should qualify for a mid grade HCC. Look forward to a CCM in a few years. Might try heavy watering when in bud and subsequently to try to straighten out petals.

Thanks for allowing me to participate.

Trevor Yee

The candidate flower appears to have slightly better shape than the awarded clone ‘M&M Orchids’. The lips are broader with a less distinctive ‘V’ at the tips. The petals have opened flatter and broader as well. The awarded plant had 4 inflorescences and 27 flowers compared to the candidate of 2 racemes and 21 flowers though only 15 are open (at time of this appraisal). Candidate is overall more crystalline white with only a slight hint of the green in the throat as compared to the awarded flower. I’d like to see this plant with perhaps another inflorescence to be comparable in quality. Hence a HCC 76 to 78 would be my score.

Trevor Yee (Aust)

Ed Weber

My comments:

I love white flowers. The cleaner and crisper the white the more I like them. The flowers of this week's candidate are about as crisp and clear as I could wish for.

My first thought was "only 21 flowers (15 and 6 buds) on 2 inflorescences. The awarded clone has 27 flowers on 4 inflorescences." Then I did the math. This means that the awarded clone has 6.75, let's say 7, per inflorescence. Our example has 10.5, so we'll say 11. So our example has the potential to put out far more flowers than the previous award. Do we grant awards based on potential?

Next I looked at the size. Our example is equal to or close to the M&M clone. Again... I'm happy with what I am seeing.

The form of our flowers is comparable to the awarded clone. The one place, for me, that it falls short is the intensity of the coloration within the throat. M&M has a nice, dark green spot whereas our example is rather dull by comparison. I would much rather the intense green as shown in M&M.

The arrangement is impossible to determine based solely on photos, both ours and the awarded clone, so that is one criterion that I can not take into consideration.

Still this leaves me with the dilemma: is the clone we are looking at awardable? Can the difference in color be the only criterion for dismissing what is clearly a well-grown plant? Can we consider it on the sole basis of potential?

My answers:

Yes, this clone is awardable. I would not expect it to reach AM level, though.

No. I do not believe that color alone is grounds to dismiss this plant.

But the biggest moral question is, knowing that I would not be able to get to 80 points, should I nominate this plant?

I think that after some soul searching I would have to say that I would not. Although I have to say that I like this plant very much.

Ed Weber

Carrie Buchman

Dendrobium Isabel Sander

This is a nicely presented flower on a cleanly grown plant. The flower is a bit bigger than the awarded clone and a better proportioned. There are 2 canes (not to be confused with inflorescences) and it looks like 1 flower per pedicle. It has, on average, 10 flowers per cane and the awarded clone is about the same at 9 per cane.

When compared to the parents the size is comparable to the dearei parent, and the floriferousness is comparable to sanderae. The geometric mean for the awarded parents for NS is 6.8 cm, and 14/cane for floriferousness.

The proportions on this flower (longer lip, lateral sepals, and petals) makes for a pleasing flower. I would nominate it for a Flower Quality award.

Kind Regards,

Carrie Buchman

Deb Bodei

Hi Sergey,

Thank you for including my commentary in the feedback.

Den. Isabel Sander (sanderae v. luzonica x dearie)

Observations and Commentary

I found it interesting that there were not more awards for this pleasing plant. Since it is an older cross I wondered if it is just not that available anymore due to the breeders not getting as high a flower count as they had hoped for. Then I found the luzonicum form of the sanderae awarded parent to be just as attractive of a bloom and more floriferous than the cross and this candidate in several cases. Although the AOS has not awarded dearei often, I found other plants awarded by other organizations to include blooms with a very similar appearance to the candidate.

The form gives a very full appearance to the flower on this candidate. I think the reason for that is the width to length segment dimensions give the overall flower a shorter and fuller appearance, which is attractive. The petals also reflex and recurve, adding to the fuller look. The segments are slightly smaller on some of the segments lengths specifically compared to the awarded.

The bloom overall looks very similar to the luzonicum form of the sanderae parent. It is also similar in appearance to the alba form of the dearie parent.

I just don’t see the improvement the judges saw on the one awarded cross.

The culture on this plant is its strong point. The grower is doing a great job giving this plant what it wants and it is a very attractive plant overall.


I would not nominate it for an award on this blooming. I think this plant could be a contender for a cultural award with more inflorescences and blooms.

Sergey Skoropad

Dendrobium Isabel Sander:

22 flowers and buds on 2 inflorescences from 2 canes - this is the interesting point for discussion!

It was kind of surprise to find out that only one award was granted to this old cross involving two very similar species.

Exhibitor indicates that var. lizonicum of the Den. sanderae was used in this cross.

Dendrobium sanderae has several varieties (I can see 5 varieties in WCSP Kew), and var. lizonicum is the latest: described in 1997, first AOS award was granted in 2014 (real award on this variety).

I believe that standard form or var. majus has been used before to make this cross.

We have Den. sanderae var. lizonicum in our collection and it does can produce a lot of buds! But - even it can produce 10-11 buds per inflorescence it’s very difficult to get them all open (normally they blast few buds) and we have 5 to 8 flowers per inflorescence.

This is exactly what I can see in OrchidPro for Den. sanderae var. lizonicum - 3 awards from 2018 to 2020: 6, 8 and 4 flowers per inflorescence!

I believe that Den. dearei can produce more flowers per inflorescence.

Compare to awarded clone ‘M&M Orchids’ our candidate has more flower/buds per inflorescence! Flower size looks very similar.

I would nominate our candidate for flower award and score 77-78 points.



Mark Werther

Dendrobium Isabel Sander (Den. sanderae v. luzonica x Den. dearie). As usual I learned from the exercise. I was most familiar with the Dendrobium sanderae v. luzonica and for some reason had not focused on the colored lip form of the standard sanderae. I had also never seriously compared the similar species. Years ago it was common for these plants to be difficult to grow and they would often fade away. Apparently newer versions are more sympathetic growers.

I was looking for a reason to consider a CCM but did find examples of both species

with over 100 flowers. The plant is well grown and well-presented but does not have the flower count.

It is very close to the awarded form in both size and shape. I was most impressed by the massing of flowers possible on the dearie. This is not evident on this or the awarded plant and is something I would be looking for. Therefore, I could consider a mid to high HCC.

Mark Werther

Elena Skoropad

A cross between 2 very similar species.

Nice presentation, good number of flowers: 22 flowers on 2 inflorescences: average 11 flowers per inflorescence

Just one award to Isabel Sandler was given in 2017 with 27 flowers on 4 inflorescences - approx 6 flowers per inflorescence

Our candidate is more floriferous and I like how flowers presented. Crisp clean white flowers; lip light green proximaly; veined deep purple. Flowers are relatively large averaging 6.5 cm in natural spread well within the range of awarded plant. This type of Dendrobium is kind of difficult to keep alive; that is why only one award exists in AOS. I would recommend this plant for flower quality award and will be in high HCC range.

Thank you,


Exhibitor - David and Joan Rosenfeld, NJ