Dendrobium species are attractive, conspicuous and numerous along the entire eastern coast of Australia, and are popular plants for culture and breeding of colourful hybrids. In contrast to the other books in the series so far, where a selection of species was made, all Australian species and their variants (around 80) are included. There is a full spectrum of plant form from some of the smallest mat-forming dendrobiums to the largest in the genus, being over two metres tall and several metres across. The unusual and rarer species of Cape York Peninsula and central Queensland are uncommon in collections and seldom seen, requiring travel to remote places. Some of the most striking Dendrobium habitats are illustrated.
There have been a number of approaches to the classification of Dendrobium and related genera over the past 30 years. Classification and nomenclature are always evolving as new information becomes available. Genera Orchidacearum Volume 6 (2014) included evidence from morphology, DNA and all other areas of study and provided an international consensus for Dendrobium, bringing a long-awaited degree of stability to the genus. This book follows the Genera Orchidacearum Vol. 6 approach and the Kew Monocot Checklist, and considers all available published evidence on the genus. An identification key to the sections is provided, and species are arranged in a checklist according to sections.