Dendrobium Classic Gem

Week 36 Plant 2: Dec 1, 2020

Dendrobium Classic Gem

(Den. D’Bush Classic x Den. Gemwood)

Week 36 P 2 Den Classic Gem

Today I would like to submit Dendrobium Classic Gem (three-petalled peloric form).

Den. Classic Gem (Den. D’Bush Classic x Den. Gemwood) was registered by D’Bush in 1988. This cross has over 80% of Den. bigibbum in background.

There’s only one AOS award in 1989: JC/AOS, exhibitor H&R Nurseries (white color, blushed smooth lavender-pink). Commended for unusual flower form - three-petalled peloric form.

Our candidate has 12 flowers and 4 buds on 3 inflorescences (4 flowers on first infl., 6 flowers on second infl. And 2 flowers/4 buds on third infl.).

Flower Measurements:

NS H - 6.5 cm; NS V - 7.0 cm;

Dorsal Sep. W - 1.5 cm; Dorsal Sep. L - 3.2 cm;

Petal W - 3.1 cm; Petals L - 3.2 cm;

Lat/Sepal W - 1.7 cm; Lat/Sepal L - 2.5 cm;

Lip W - 3.5 cm; Lip L - 3.2 cm

Judges' Comments

Al Messina (Accredited Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Twelve (petal) peloric flowers and four buds on three subapical inflorescences; while no true lateral view of the majority of the flowers is given, there is a strong suggestion of moderate recurving without reflexing of all petal/lips; color is fine; JC already given for petal peloria. Suggest growing plant further to display for possible culture award. Doubt flower award achievable.

Tom Mirenda (Accredited Judge, Hawaii Judging Center)

This fabulous peloric dendrobium has been a favorite of mine for decades. Glad to see it here in virtual judging! It is certainly a fine flower that never received the glory it deserves. The grex consistently has great color, floriferousness, good presentation, round form, overlapping segments, physical grace etc. I believe it only received a JC due the pelorism which at the time may have been considered freakish and a 'flaw' rather than the pleasant aberration that it is. I have seen a few different clones over the years, all of which I've thought of as terrific, deserving plants. The standard for Dendrobium bigibbum types is high for awards, and there are a vast number of crosses and variations that have been bred in SE Asia as well as here in Hawaii for cut flower production and leis. I think these types of dendrobiums have fallen off the radar of the judging system because of how they have been bred and commoditized....such breeders could care less about awards.

All this being said, the grex deserves more than a JC and it would be nice to get a collection of different clones together and grow them up together for a nice display at a show....I suspect if they are featured, rather than filler plants, many clones might be awarded. One I own and is propagated locally is a uniform velvety purple....This clone on the 'table' seems to be a white background suffused with fuchsia and is very lovely, (is it the same clone that was presented for the JC in 1989?) the lip seems to be bigger and broader than the petals, unlike some I've seen where the lip is much more in line with the petals. Even though it is 3 decades too late, I would like to see it recognized. I think a mid to high HCC is warranted. In this case, in my opinion, a larger specimen might generate a higher flower quality award....which is counterintuitive, but true nonetheless. This specimen, while certainly healthy and well bloomed, could have considerably more flowers per inflorescence when grown into a specimen which might translate into 2 or 3 more points possibly bringing it to AM level.

Finally, for decades (again) I've heard talk about creating a different kind of that honors plants of merit, that everyone should own because they are fun and satisfying to grow if not awardable in other ways. (like Proven Winners or All America awards etc.) This is a plant that would fit into that category. Why don't we have something like an 'AOS Select' award??

Trevor Yee (Accredited Judge, AOC, Australia)

Our tripetaloid Dendrobium has some charm and appeal and at first glance it's hard to make out how the flower is orientated. Shape is overall circular in outline and the floral segments are relatively broad; however they all reflex more than I would prefer. The colour is vibrant and consistent, with no observable blemish or markings. The flower arrangement on the raceme could be better as it looks rather bunchy and flowers are not facing outward in a classic dendrobium formation. Considering the breeding and the large doses of Den. bigibbum & phalaenopsis, I would expect many more flowers per raceme and number of racemes. Therefore, on this flowering, I don't believe it's worthy of a quality award.

Kristen Mason (Accredited Judge, Cincinnati Judging Center)

First impressions - I like the gradation of color where it is softer in the middle and intensifies outward. The pelorism adds fullness, but you also lose some of the interest of the different colors that are present in a more traditional lip. The inflorescences are crowded and uneven in presentation. There is good consistency in form from flower to flower, but some reflexing, more significant on the sepals than the petals. Because the parents, grandparents and great grandparents have no awards other than JCs, baseline comparison goes back to the species - bigibbum, phalaenopsis and affine. Compared to the more recent quality awards, this plant is under flowered - both in terms of overall flower count, but also average per inflorescence. Size is slightly larger than bigibbum, but not significantly, especially when you look at the influence that phalaenopsis tends to have on its progeny with size. One note is the significant increase in the width of the lateral sepals over bigibbum. I do not feel that this flower is an improvement over the 3 species in terms of presentation on the inflorescence or the overall form in terms of the reflexing of the sepals. Many awarded bigibbum have full form. Flower color on many of the awarded species clone are great. I would not point this. Just to see if my perception was not being biased - I went ahead and pointed it - I ended up at 70 points.

Roy Tokunaga (Accredited Judge, Hawaii Judging Center/ H&R Nurseries)

Aloha Sergey,

I am not an expert on this line of Dendrobiums. But I do love them. I would use the criteria for judging Miltoniopsis.

The peloria trait is recessive. So, if you self the plant, seedlings are 3 petaled. If you cross against another bigibbum type Dendrobium, the lip reverts back to a normal bigibbum lip. So, the lines of breeding are limited. Many years ago, I thought of setting up an F1 that would be normal. Back crossing to get the peloria to express itself again.

Shape and arrangement are its best features.

There should be more awards for this group of Dendrobiums.

There is another plant from Australia that is better. Den. Kuranda Classic. I just selfed it recently. I was afraid it would be lost forever. Available on our next list.

Take care,


Deb Bodei (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Dendrobium Classic Gem


According to Lindleyana, March 1977 issue, the article about D’Bush’s (Australian nursery) pansy lip crosses, this cross is one of the peloric crosses that started with Den. D’Bush’s Pansy hybrid. Then came the Pansy line that started with Den. D’Bush Classic which is one of the parents of this cross Classic Gem. This is at least a second generation peloric lip.

Since the plant is almost all bigibbum, I am looking to that species for comparison outside of the lip. The NS and segments measurements are comparable.

Looks like the petals and sepals are reflexing on one inflorescence, but that may be due to age. Otherwise it is a very full, flat and moving-towards-round, flower. The lip is somewhat wider and longer than the petals and it gives the bloom more of a triangular shape, rather than a circle.

The color is a pleasing purple, common for bigibbum is different from the plant that received the JC as the only award for this cross. It looks like the base color is white with a purple overlay that is more concentrated proximally towards the margins giving it a pleasing highlight at the central part of the bloom where the white is showing through.

Inflorescences can have anywhere from 2-20 blooms for bigibbum. The candidate falls near the lower range with approx. 6 per stem. The arrangement of the inflorescences is very good and each bloom can be easily viewed.


I would nominate this plant for a flower award and expect a high HCC.

Thank you for including my commentary,


Deb Boersma (Student Judge, Great Lakes Judging Center)

Dendrobium Classic Gem

I’m going to go out on a limb here! I see that there are no awards for the parents Dendrobium D’Bush and Dendrobium Gemwood. There are no photos of either parent on Orchid Wiz or any other reliable site that I can find, so difficult to see if this flower is an improvement when compared to parents.

I see a flower with a very, full, round form. The three petal peloric form with the wide petals and the ‘petal’ like lip fill out the flower and there is no windowing. The flower is flat, some slight recurving of the petals I don’t think it is significant. Overall good form. I like the dark, intense lavender colour, passed on from the Den. bigibbum parent.

The Den. Classic Gem that received a JC was the only flower that I could use for size and floriferousness comparison. This candidate is slightly bigger, not by much and is more floriferous than the JC awarded plant. The flowers look nicely distributed on the infloresences.

I have not experienced peloric flowers with a judging team so I am looking forward to seeing the accredited judges’ comments on this plant.

I would nominate this plant for a flower quality award. I scored it on the General scale HCC 78

Sergey Skoropad (Associate Judge, Northeast Judging Center)

Dendrobium Classic Gem.

I like these peloric flowers: full, symmetrical flowers.

I was always wondering why we can find so many flower awards on Phalaenopsis ‘Big Lip’ type (peloric) but very few on dendrobiums. I think they been around for many years but were underestimated and need more attention.

I believe that this type of dendrobium was breeds in Australia and Hawaii.

I like form of the flower, consistent from flower to flower, shape of the lip looks almost exactly like petals which create beautiful balance. Unfortunately curving back will take out few points, I believe this is happening because of age.

Color is very intense. Flower count in the range. Arched inflorescences create elegant presentation.

I think this dendrobium should be recognized! I would nominate it for flower award and score high HCC 78-79 pts.



Exhibitor - Longwood Gardens, PA (orchid grower - Greg Griffis)