The genus Dendrobium includes approximately 1800 tropical species, which grow in South East Asia, the Phillippines, Borneo, Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand. They grow as Epiphytes or Lithophytes in the high mountains of the Himalayas. Additionally, they can be found in the dry areas of Australia.
The genus was established in 1799 by the Swedish botanist Olof Peter Swartz. The name DERIVES from the Greek "dendron" = tree and "bios" = live.
As they evolved, the genus Dendrobium was divided into sections according to their flowering or growing shapes. Different botanists defined 18 to 30 sections. The sections can help with information on how to cultivate a certain Dendrobium. Some information about the sections you can find here.
Chinese use a few Dendrobium in medicine, but most are used as decorative flowers.
Dendrobium phalaenopsis hybrids plus, Dendrobium nobile and their hybrids have been crossed often in Thailand. Interestingly, Dendrobium are not as important in Europe and the rest of the world.
Only a few Dendrobiums need a rest period in Winter also, most of them will be fine with less water and fertilizer.