Dendrobium is a genus of mostly epiphytic and lithophytic orchids in the family Orchidaceae. It is a very large genus, containing more than 1,800 species that are found in diverse habitats throughout much of south, east and southeast Asia.
Native to Southeast Asia, the genus Dendrobium is one of the largest of all orchid groups. There are about 1,200 individual species, and they grow in all manner of climates, from hot, wet lowlands to high-altitude, colder mountains. Growers usually divide dendrobiums into groups based on their growing conditions. All dendrobiums are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on other plants. In nature, they grow on the branches of trees. Some are deciduous and some hold onto their leaves all year round. Serious collectors often favor the D. nobile, but the most common kind of dendrobium - the kind gracing grocery store shelves - is a hybrid Dendrobium phalaenopsis.