The Dendrobium family includes over 1,000 species of orchids, native to subtropical climates in Asia, Pacific islands and Australia. They attach themselves and climb on other plants, just like the vanilla orchid.
The dove orchid (also known as a pigeon orchid) produces fragrant, white flowers with yellow throats. When viewed from the side, dove orchids look like white birds, hence the name. The flowers lay dormant until rainfall or sudden drop in temperature prompts them to open. Once blooming the flowers last only a very short time. It grows freely on roadside trees in Singapore and is considered a medicinal plant there. Dove orchids also feature in Chinese herbal medicine. With the leaves being used to help clear skin. An infusion is made by adding the fresh dove orchids to boiled water. This is then strained and the liquid is added to products.