Species Orchid Society of

Western Australia (Inc)

The Genus Dendrobium By Ken Jones

The genus was originally identified and named by Olaf Swartz in 1799; however there were two earlier names Ceraia Lour. and Callista Lour. Therefore, the genus name Dendrobium is a conserved name as it has replaced the earlier names. The type species is Dendrobium moniliforme (L.) Sw. from Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan, originally described by Linnaeus in 1753 as Epidendrum moniliforme. The root of the genus name Dendrobium is dendro = tree and bios = life. The species in this genus are generally light loving, and in many instances, grow either high in the forest canopy or in relatively unprotected locations where they are exposed to high light.
Dendrobium and its relatives can be found from India and Sri Lanka to Tahiti, from Japan and Korea to Stewart Island (South if the South Island on New Zealand). The majority of orchids in the genus Dendrobium are epiphytic; however there are some members that are lithophytic or terrestrial. They range in size from miniature to very large (up to 5m tall), grow in climatic conditions from semi-desert to hot wet rainforest, from sea level to 3,800 m in the high central mountain ranges of Papua New Guinea. They can be found on fringing coral beaches, primary tall rainforest, mangrove forests, in cultivated rubber and coconut plantations, roadside cuttings, rocky cliff faces and rocky outcrops, stunted coastal scrubland, paperbarks in swampy forests and city trees. These incredible orchids are highly adaptable, are an important commercial product and for many of us, were our first experience of orchids when we were given a flower arrangement containing 'Singapore orchids'.


Dendrobieae is in the subfamily Epidendroideae of the family Orchidaceae. The subtribe, Dendrobiinae contains the species that we know as Dendrobium, while the other sub-tribe Bulbophyllinae, the Bulbophyllum. This classification, proposed by Dressler 1993 has been used as the basis for this article.
Dendrobium contains about 1000 species, although this varies as taxonomists discover and identify new species, or revisit past identification and reduce species to synonymy. Baker and Baker (1996) found over 2400 valid names for Dendrobium species.


The genus Dendrobium is divided into six (6) main sections: Callista, Dendrobium, Formosae, Latouria, Phalaenanthe, and Spatulata. Schlechter (1982) classified Dendrobium into 41 sections, however for simplicity this article will focus on the foregoing higher level Sections and some of the more common members of each; identify their specific characteristics, habitat, cultural requirements and the relative ease or challenges to grow and flower them.


While now relatively common in cultivation, and in literally thousands of hybrids, Dendrobium orchids are increasingly becoming threatened in the wild as habitat is destroyed for farming and plantation purposes, logging (both legal and illegal) and population expansion. Many members of this genus come from highly populated regions of mainland and island Asia where the need to house citizens imposes heavily on governments. Currently, 31 (thirty one) species are listed as threatened on the ICUN redlist, with three species Dendrobium huoshanense, Dendrobium officinale, and Dendrobium schutzei shown as critically endangered. Another 8 (eight) are listed as endangered.


Section Callista
Approximately ten (10) species are described in section Callista. However, as earlier noted, there are many synonyms for the species in this section, one of most popular in cultivation in the genus due to their showy flowers. In this section, we find:
* Dendrobium chrysotoxum
* Dendrobium densiflorum
* Dendrobium farmeri
* Dendrobium harveyanum
* Dendrobium jenkinsi
* Dendrobium lindleyi
* Dendrobium palpebrae
* Dendrobium sulcatum,
and
* Dendrobium thyrsiflorum.


Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindley 1847 (SECTION Densiflora) is a smaller-sized, cool to warm growing epiphyte on generally deciduous trees that lose much of their canopy
during winter. This species comes from Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Himalayas, Bangladesh and India at moderate elevations 400-1,600m. Its common name in Thailand is the Golden Bow orchid. It has clustered, grooved, clavate or fusiform, up to 30 cm, many angled, apically thickened pseudobulbs that can be enveloped by many white, membraneous sheaths (a common feature of many members of the genus) with 2 to 3 oblong to lanceolate, coriaceous, acute leaves.

Flowering takes place in winter through spring with an up to 30cm inflorescence that arises from nodes near the apex of the pseudobulb. It is lax (loose, not tightly clustered) and pendulous. The flowers are short-lived, but highly fragrant, with the fragrance said to be honey-like.

 


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Synonyms in use for this species are Callista chrysotoxa (Lindl.) Brieger 1981; Callista chrysotoxa (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Callista suavissima Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium chrysotoxum var. suavissimum (Rchb.f.) A.H.Kent 1888; Dendrobium suavissimum Rchb.f 1874
Dendrobium densiflorum Lindl. ex Wall. 1829, (SECTION Densiflora) is the type species for this SECTION and is commonly named the densely-flowered Dendrobium is found in Assam, Bangladesh, eastern Himalayas, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Tibet, Hainan and southern China. It is a small to medium sized, cool growing epiphyte or occasional lithophyte on moss covered trunks or branches at altitudes 1,100 to 1,800m. Its habitat has distinct seasonal variation between the hot, wet and humid summer and the cooler, drier winter. Vegetatively similar to Dendrobium chrysotoxum, it has erect, tufted, 7 to 12 noded, obscurely 4 angled, fusiform or clavate, 30 cm long stems with each node half covered by a white sheath and carrying 3 to 5, towards the apex, elliptic or ovate, persistent, acute leaves. This species blooms from the late winter through spring with pendant, 20 cm, cylindrical, densely flowered racemes with scented, short-lived flowers arising from nodes at or near the apex of the pseudobulb. The in-situ photo on the following page clearly demonstrates the tight-bunched flower raceme that is typical of this species.

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Synonyms in use for this species are Callista densiflora (Lindl. ex Wall.) Kuntze 1891; Callista densiflora (Wall.) Brieger 1981; Dendrobium clavatum Wall. 1828; Dendrobium densiflorum f. parviflorum Regel 1874; Dendrobium schroederi Dombrain 1870; Endeisa flava Raf. 1837; Epidendrum dumunsuttu Buch.-Ham. ex Lindl. 1830


Dendrobium farmeri Paxton 1849 (SECTION Densiflora) is perhaps the best known and most frequently present in orchid collections. Found in the eastern Himalayas, Assam, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Malaysia as an epiphyte in evergreen lowland forests and primary montane forests at 150 to 1,000 meters, its common name is Farmer's Dendrobium (named after the English Supervisor of the Calcutta Botanical Garden in the 1800's), this pendulous, hot to warm growing epiphyte has clavate or fusiform, 4 angled above stems carrying 2 to 4, towards the apex, coriaceous, ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate leaves.

Flowering occurs in spring on 20cm, pendent, many densely flowered, cylindrical racemose inflorescences that arise from the nodes near the apex of leafless and leafed canes.

Unfortunately, the flowers are short-lived, lasting for only a week or so. Photo source:

Its habitat consists primarily of primary forest tall trees, often adjacent to waterways and streams. This species prefers some shading, and the climate features frequent heavy summer rainfall with a dry, cooler winter. White, pink and white and yellow flower colour forms are known.


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Dendrobium farmeri is very similar to Dendrobium palpebrae that can be found in the same habitats. Lavarack et al (2000) say that the two species can be distinguished by the violet tinge to the flowers of Dendrobium farmeri that is not present in Dendrobium palpebrae.
Synonyms in use for this species are Callista densiflora (Lindl. ex Wall.) Kuntze var farmeri 1891; Callista farmeri (Paxton) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium densiflorum var. farmeri (Paxton) Regel 1874; Dendrobium farmeri var. albiflorum C.Morren 1860; Dendrobium farmeri var. aureoflavum Hook.f. 1864
Dendrobium harveyanum Rchb.f. 1883 (SECTION Densiflora) is rare in collections, and is found in Yunnan province in China, and Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. This rare species is a small sized, cool growing epiphyte on tree trunks and large branches at 1,100 - 1,700m. Commonly known as Harvey's Dendrobium, an Irish orchid enthusiast from the 1800's who was first to flower species, it is also known in China as Su Ban Shi Hu, and in Thailand as Ueang Kham Foi. It has erect, spindle-shaped, deeply sulcate stems with several apical, deciduous, ovate-oblong, leathery leaves. Flowering in late winter-early spring, it has a pendant, 15cm few to several flowered, racemose, lax inflorescence that arises from the nodes near the apex of older leafless canes with two-nine, fragrant honey-scented flowers. The distinctive golden-yellow flowers have long filaments edging the petals, while the round lip is fringed and densely pubescent (covered with fine hairs)


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Marni Turkel has a page dedicated to this species in which she reports on the difficulty she experienced in successfully growing and flowering this species. Her comments on Dendrobium harveyanum at LINK
are informative and thought-provoking. Marni says that for many years she struggled to grow and flower Dendrobium harveyanum.
Her research into its habitat showed that it came from a classic monsoon climate with heavy rainfall and cloudy skies in spring and summer. Autumn and winter have little or no rainfall, with bright light and warm days and cool nights. By the end of winter, humidity is low, and it is likely that the orchids receive little if any moisture, even from dew.
She goes on to say that originally she grew the species with year-round moisture. Her plant was a small, struggling specimen with few roots and almost no flowers. With nothing to lose, several years ago she decided to adopt a grow-or-die attitude and began giving it a prolonged dry rest in winter. It was as if she had a different plant: strong growths, lots of active roots and flower spikes every year. Synonyms in use for this species are Callista harveyana (Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891 Dendrobium jenkinsii Wallich ex Lindley 1839
(SECTION Densiflora) comes from Hainan province in China, Assam, eastern Himalayas, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Laos. It is a small-sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte in open forests on tree trunks at 700 -1,500m. Its common name is Jenkins's Dendrobium - Jenkins was an officer of the East India Trading Co. early 1800's. In China, its common name is Xiao Huang Hua Shi Hu, and in Thailand, Ueang Phung Noi
It has clustered, branching, fusiform to ovoid-oblong, 4 ribbed, somewhat flattened pseudobulbs carrying a single, terminal, thickened, leathery, rigid, oval to oblong, obtuse, notched leaves . Flowering in early spring on short 15 cm] long, arching to pendant, simultaneously 1 to 5 flowered racemes that arise from near the apex of the leafed pseudobulb, it carries short-lived, wide open flowers that are similar to Dendrobium lindleyi. The main difference is that Dendrobium jenkinsii has a fewer flowered inflorescence while Dendrobium lindleyi has many flowers. Dendrobium jenkinsii has a bilobed lip while Dendrobium lindleyi is entire. Dendrobium jenkinsii has clustered, sulcate, ovoid, flattened pseudobulbs carrying a single, apical, ovate, thick, shiny, persistent leaf.

 

Some excellent photos of Dendrobium jenkinsii can be found at LINK. This species is almost always named by growers as Dendrobium aggregatum , a synonym that has been published as valid in the Sanders hybrid list.

 

 

Synonyms in use for this species are Callista jenkinsii Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium aggregatum Roxb. var. jenkinsii [Wall.]Lindley 1898; Dendrobium marseillei Gagn. 1934

 

Dendrobium lindleyi Steud. 1840 (SECTION Densiflora) is found throughout southeast Asia, including Sikkim, Bhutan, north-eastern India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and southwestern China at 400 - 1,300m. A miniature to small sized, hot-cool growing epiphyte, this species can be found on the trunks and branches of deciduous trees. In Vietnam, this orchid grows high in the canopy in open, dry, primary, broad-leaved, semi-deciduous, mixed and coniferous forests. The plant has erect, clustered, thickened upwards from a slender base, almost spindle-shaped, angled stems carrying a solitary, oblong, leathery, obtuse, leaf. Flowering in late winter-early spring, the pleasantly fragrant flowers are borne on axillary, 5 to 15 flowered, often pendant racemes that arise from nodes at the middle of leafed and leafless canes. This species and its subspecies Dendrobium lindleyi var. jenkinsii need a cool dry winter rest to ensure a spring blooming. As the bright yellow flower colour indicates, Dendrobium lindleyi is a bright light orchid and requires high light to flower well. Its common name is Lindley's Dendrobium named after the 1800's English Botanist, John Lindley. In Thailand, it is known as Ueang phung, and in China as Ju Shi Hu

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Synonyms in use are Callista aggregata (Roxb.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium aggregatum Rox. 1832; Dendrobium alboviride var. majus Rolfe 1932; Dendrobium lindleyi var. majus (Rolfe) S.Y.Hu 1973; Epidendrum aggregatum Roxb. ex Steud. 1840.
Most commonly, this species is sold as Dendrobium aggregatum.
Dendrobium lindleyi
is free flowering once it grows to a reasonable size plant as can be seen in the photo of Dendrobium lindleyi var. majus on the following page


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This species is also reported to benefit from a dry rest period and colder night temperatures down to 10°C, and will flower more freely as a result

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dendrobium palpebrae Lindley 1850 (SECTION Densiflora) is found in Bangladesh, eastern Himalayas, Yunnan province China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam at 800-2,500 m (note the large altitude range). It is generally seen as a medium sized, warm to cold growing epiphytic species on primary and secondary forest trees. We saw this species in flower at Dalat in Vietnam several years ago on a tour organised by Tony. Vegetatively, it has clustered, rather slender to subclavate, sulcate stems enveloped by membraneous sheaths carrying 2 to 5, towards the apex, lanceolate to oblong, acute leaves. Blooming in spring and late summer, 6-15 flowers are carried on 15cm pendulous inflorescences. An albinistic form exists.


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Its common name, the Brow-Like Dendrobium, and in Thailand, Ueang Matchanu, is linked to the hairs on the lip base that look like eyelashes, hence its specific epithet palpebra which means eyelid.
This species is often confused with Dendrobium farmeri as the flowers and growth habit are very similar. The most significant difference is that the lip is more ovate, and has low side-lobes and the hairs that John Lindley described "like eyelashes".
Synonyms in use are Callista palpebrae (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Callista palpebrae (Lindl.) Brieger 1981; Dendrobium farmeri var. album Regel 1868.


Dendrobium sulcatum Lindl. 1838 SECTION Densiflora is found in Assam, eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and south central China in tropical valleys at altitudes of 500 -1,000m. A small to medium sized, warm growing epiphyte, this species has somewhat flattened, 25 cm clavate pseudobulbs carrying 2 apical, ovate leaves. Flowering in late spring, the flowers are borne on short, pendulous inflorescences produced just below the apical leaf. The short-lived flowers are fimbriate. In India, the habitat extends from tropical valleys near Kalimpong and Darjeeling in Sikkim to the Khasi (Khasia) Hills, Assam, Manipur, and Megahalaya where plants can be found from 500-1000m.
Its common name is the Furrowed Lip Dendrobium, while in Thailand it is known as Ueang champanan, and in China, as Ju Cao Shi Hu


 

 

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The synonym in use is Callista sulcata (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dendrobium thyrsiflorum B S Williams 1871 (SECTION Densiflora) is found in the Chinese Himalayas, Hainan China, Assam India, eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam at 1,200-2,000m. This species is a small to large sized, cool growing, epiphyte, lithophyte or terrestrial orchid inhabiting humid, mossy mixed and coniferous forests. It has slender, ridged, rounded, club-shaped, yellowish apically stems carrying 5- 7, persistent, smooth, flexible, dark green leaves. Flowering in spring, the dense pendant raceme that arises from the apex of the cane can bear up to 50 pleasantly fragrant flowers. The flowers are quite variable with the labellum colour ranging from a pale yellow to intense orange-yellow. Its common name is the Pine Cone-Like Raceme Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Ueang mawn khai, while in China, it is known as Qui Hua Shi Hu.

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Synonyms in use are Callista thyrsiflora (Rchb.f. ex André) M.A.Clem. 2003; Dendrobium densiflorum var. alboluteum Hook.f. 1869; Dendrobium galliceanum Linden 1890; Dendrobium thyrsiflorum var. bronckartii Cogn. 1904; and Dendrobium thyrsiflorum var. minutiflorum Aver. 2012


The next section is Dendrobium. Several species in this section are quite commonly seen in hobbyist collections and most are relatively undemanding to grow and flower. Some of the more commonly grown species in this section are:
Dendrobium albosanguineum
Dendrobium anosmum
Dendrobium aphyllum
Dendrobium chrysanthum
Dendrobium crepidatum
Dendrobium crystallinum
Dendrobium devonianum
Dendrobium dixanthum
Dendrobium falconeri
Dendrobium fimbriatum
Dendrobium findlayanum
Dendrobium friedericksianum
Dendrobium gibsonii
Dendrobium heterocarpum
Dendrobium lituiflorium
Dendrobium loddigesii
Dendrobium monifilorme
Dendrobium moschatum
Dendrobium nobile
Dendrobium parishii
Dendrobium primulinum
Dendrobium pulchellum
Dendrobium senile
Dendrobium signatum
Dendrobium stricklandianum
Dendrobium tortile
Dendrobium unicum
Dendrobium wardianum

Dendrobium albosanguineum Lindley & Paxt. 1852 SECTION Dendrobium is found in Myanmar and Thailand growing as an epiphyte high in the canopy at 300-600m. The plants can usually be found in the tops of the tallest trees, but is not common and may be threatened due to deforestation and over-collecting. The plants have stout, subclavate or cylindrical, clustered pseudobulbous canes with strongly developed nodes covered in white sheathing bracts carrying linear-lanceolate, light green, somewhat translucent, deciduous leaves. Spring flowering takes place from the nodes near to the top of more mature leafed and leafless canes on short, 2 to 7 flowered racemes with fragrant, fleshy, long-lived flowers. This species comes from habitats that have a semi-dry, cool winter season.


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Its common name is the White and Blood-Red Dendrobium, and culturally, is said to grow best on tree fern slab as it prefers to dry out between watering.

Synonyms in use are Callista albosanguinea (Lindl. & Paxton) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium atrosanguineum E. Morren & De Voss [Spalm]


Dendrobium anosmum Lindley 1845 SECTION Dendrobium is a large sized species from Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea where it grows as an epiphyte in gallery layers of lower primary forests up to 1,300m. In the Philippines, this species can be found growing in mountain forests generally below 750m with Aerides quinquevulnerum and Anota violacea. While generally these habitats are distinctly drier in winter, in some locations where this species occurs, it is wet all year. In Papua New Guinea, plants are common in the Bulolo and Wau areas where it can be found on rough-barked trees from sea level to 1,300m.
It grows to be a large to very large, arching to pendulous orchid with pendulous to120cm many noded stems with each node enveloped by a loose fitting sheath and carrying oblong elliptic, acute, deciduous leaves. Flowering in spring, racemes of 8 - 10 pleasantly fragrant flowers arise from the nodes all along the apice of the leafless cane. Culture for this plant can be problematic given the long pendant canes, and where possible, slab-mounting is the most effective option provided high humidity can be maintained through summer. Several colour forms are known including an album form and some cultivars that are much more intensely coloured. Its common name is the Unscented which is a misnomer as the species is quite fragrant. In China it is known as Tan xiang shi hu


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This species is often sold under one or more of the synonyms in use that include Callista anosma O. Ktze. 1891; Callista macrophylla [Lindl.] Kuntze 1891; Callista scortechinii O. Ktze. 1891; Dendrobium anosmum var. dearei (Rolfe) Ames & Quisumb. 1935; Dendrobium anosmum var. giganteum [Rchb.f] Valmayor & Tiu 1984; Dendrobium anosmum var. huttonii (Rchb.f.) Ames & Quisumb. 1935; Dendrobium dayanum B.S.Williams 1864; Dendrobium leucorhodum Schlechter 1879; Dendrobium macranthum Hooker or Miquel?; Dendrobium macrophyllum Lindley not Ames or Richards ?; Dendrobium retusum Llanos 1859; Dendrobium scortechinii Hooker 1890; Dendrobium superbum Rchb.f 1864; Dendrobium superbum var. anosmum Rchb.f ? ; Dendrobium superbum var. burkei Rchb.f. 1884; Dendrobium superbum dearei Rolfe 1891; and Dendrobium superbum var. huttonii Rchb.f. 1869


Dendrobium aphyllum (Roxb.) C.E.C.Fisch. 1928 SECTION Dendrobium is found in Hainan China, Assam, Bangladesh, eastern Himalayas, India, Maldive Islands, Nepal, Sri Lanka, western Himalayas, Andaman Islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi and Queensland as a large sized, hot to cool growing, epiphyte or in deforested areas, as a lithophyte. This species which is often named as Dendrobium pierardii or Dendrobium cucullatum is found at 150-1,800m in lowland and primary montane forests, and in China in mangrove swamps. It has slender, pendulous, leafy stems carrying linear-lanceolate or narrowly ovate, acuminate, deciduous leaves. Flowering throughout the year, but most commonly in winter and spring, the short inflorescence arises from the nodes of older leafless canes and has 1-3, fragrant, short-lived, nearly transparent fragile flowers, clustered close to the cane. An albinistic form also exists. The fragrance is similar to that of violets. This species is locally threatened due to habitat destruction and clearing, and over-collection. Its common name is The Hooded Dendrobium which refers to the cone-shaped lip, in China, it is known as Dou Chun Shi Hu.

 

 

 

 

 

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Similar to Dendrobium anosmum, this species is best slab or mount grown to accommodate the long pendant canes.

 

Helpful cultural information can be found at
Synonyms in use include Callista aphylla Kuntze 1891; Cymbidium aphyllum (Roxb.) Sw. 1799; Dendrobium aphyllum var. cucullatum [R. Br.] Sarkar 1984; Dendrobium aphyllum var. katakianum I.Barua 2001; Dendrobium cucullatum R. Brown 1822; Dendrobium madrasense A.D.Hawkes 1963; Dendrobium oxyphyllum Gagnep. 1950; Dendrobium pierardii Roxb. 1822; Dendrobium pierardii var. cucullatum [R. Br.] J.D. Hook 1890; Epidendrum aphyllum (Roxb.) Poir. 1810; and Pierardia bicolor (Roxb. ex Hook.) Raf. 1836.

 

Dendrobium chrysanthum Wallich ex Lindley 1830 SECTION Dendrobium is widespread through the Himalayan foothills of the western Himalayas, Assam India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It is found as a large sized, warm to cold growing epiphyte, as a lithophyte on limestone cliffs in narrow crevasses and as a terrestrial species in humid, mossy, mixed and coniferous forests and primary, broadleaf, evergreen, lowland forests at 300 -2,200m. The pendulous, many noded, sulcate to 150 cm stems carry ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, shiny green leaves. Blooming from Spring-Autumn, the few to multiple flowered very short racemes arise on the opposite side of cane to the leaf on the upper portions of immature leafed-pseudobulbs. The inflorescence that arises opposite to the leaves has 1-3 fragrant, fleshy yellow flowers as the species name suggests. This species and Dendrobium gibsonii are similar and therefore often confused.

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Dendrobium chrysanthum has flowers with on canes carrying leaves, wider petals, narrower spread sepals and a less-rounded lip opening. Its common name is the Golden Yellow Flowered Dendrobium; in Thailand it is known as Ueang thian, Ueang kham sai, Ueang pu loei, Bai morakot and Uang Sai Morakat; while in China, its known as Shu Hua Shi Hu. More cultural information can be found HERE

Synonyms in common use are Callista chrysantha (Wall.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium chrysanthum var. anophthalama Rchb.f. 1883; Dendrobium chrysanthum var. microphthalama Rchb.f. 1879; Dendrobium microphthalmum Van Geert 1879; Dendrobium paxtonii Lindley not Paxton 1839 .


Dendrobium crepidatum Lindl. & Paxton 1850 SECTION Dendrobium is found is China, Assam, Bangladesh, eastern Himalayas, India, Nepal, Sikkim, western Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam at 600-2,100m as a small to medium sized (30cm), cool to warm growing epiphyte in evergreen and semi-evergreen tropical forests. In India, it is generally found on tree trunks in the Terminalia, Careya and Lagerstroemia spp along with other orchid genera as a sub-erect to pendant species.

Dendrobium crepidatum var. assimica

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It has tufted, sub-erect to pendulous, terete, striated, 45cm, many noded stems each covered with a papery sheath, and carrying 5 to 9, oblong to narrowly lanceolate, acute leaves. Flowering in spring, on short purple inflorescences arising from near the apex of year old leafless stems, this species has 1-4 shiny, waxy, delicately fragrant and long-lasting flowers. An album form is known. Its common name is the Shoe-Lip Dendrobium which refers to the cavity at the base of the column foot. In China, it is known as Mei Gui Shi Hu, while in Thailand, Ueang Sai Nam Khieo.
Synonyms in common use are Callista crepidata (Lindl. & Paxton) Kuntze 1891; Callista lawiana (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium actinomorphum Blatt. & Halb. 1921; Dendrobium lawanum Lindley 1859; Dendrochilum roseum Dalzell 1852


Dendrobium crystallinum Rchb. f. 1868 SECTION Dendrobium found in the Chinese Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam as an epiphyte on small trees in exposed locations in evergreen, semi-deciduous and deciduous dry lowland forests and woodlands, and primary montane forests at 900-1,700m. This species is another medium sized, pendulous, warm to cool growing epiphyte with slender, erect or pendant pseudobulbs without nodes with 2-4, linear-lanceolate, soft-textured, distichous, deciduous leaves. Spring to summer flowering, it has short 5 cm axillary inflorescences with 1-3 highly fragrant flowers that emerge from near the apex of new pseudobulbs.

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An album form is known, and the flower colour intensity of specimens of Dendrobium crystallinum can be quite variable, while Dendrobium crystallinum fma. ochroleucum lacks the purple-magenta blotches. Its common name is the Shiny Crystal Dendrobium referring to the crystalline papillae on the column covering the anther cap. In Thailand, it is known as Ueang Sai sam si and Ueang nang fawn. Dendrobium crystallinum has been used for medicinal purposes as a tea in China. Synonyms in common use are Callista crystallina (Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium crystallinum var. hainanense S.J.Cheng & C.Z.Tang 1986


Dendrobium devonianum Paxton 1840 SECTION Dendrobium is found in the Chinese Himalayas, Assam, eastern Himalayas, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, southern China and Vietnam. Growing as a warm-cool epiphyte on tree trunks in montane forests at 500-2,000m, it is a medium sized species with pendulous, cylindric, slender, slightly fleshy, sub-branched, many noded stems carrying narrowly ovate-lanceolate, leathery, clasping sheath base, long acuminate leaves. Blooming in late winter and spring, the erect to spreading 30cm many flowered inflorescences have with long-lived, fleshy, fragrant flowers that arise from the nodes near the apex of leafless to meter-long canes. The flowers are variable especially in the amount and length of hairs on the petals and lip. Dendrobium devonianum var. rhodoneurum is a predominantly pink coloured form. This species has also been used in Chinese herbal medicine. Its common name is Devon's Dendrobium named after the 1800's English Count and Orchid enthusiast. In Thailand, it is known as Miang - Sai man pra in and Ueang sai pha kang, while in China, it is known as Chi Ban Shi Hu
Synonyms in common use are Callista devoniana (Paxton) Kuntze 1891; Callista moulmeinensis (Parish ex Hook. f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium brevifolium Hort. ex Lindley 1859; Dendrobium devonianum var. candidulum Rchb.f. 1876; Dendrobium devonianum var. elliottianum Rchb.f. 1876; Dendrobium devonianum var. rhodoneurum Rchb.f. 1868 ; Dendrobium moulmeinense Parish ex Hook. f. 1890; Dendrobium pictum Griff. ex Lindl. 1859; Dendrobium pulchellum Lindley non Loddiges or Roxbury; Dendrobium pulchellum var. devonianum [Paxton] Rchb.f


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Dendrobium dixanthum Rchb. f. 1865 SECTION Holochrysa is found in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos as medium to large sized, warm growing epiphyte in the tops of deciduous forests tall trees at about 700m. In Myanmar, the species is often found with Dendrobium albosanguineum. It has erect to pendant, terete stems carrying 4, ligulate to lanceolate, sub-erect, acute or acuminate leaves. Blooming in winter and spring, flowers are borne on pendant racemes emerging from the nodes, at and near the apex of mature pseudobulbs carrying thin textured flowers. It was moved from SECTION Dendrobium to SECTION Holochrysa following DNA analysis.
Its common name, the Twice Yellow Dendrobium refers to the flower colours.

 

 

 

In Thailand, it is known as Ueang khamplu - Ueang thian - Ueang kham pawn - Ueang phai - Ueang baiphai, and in China as Huang Hua Shi Hu. The synonym in common use is Callista dixantha (Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891
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Dendrobium falconeri Hook. f. 1856 SECTION Dendrobium comes from Assam India, Chinese Himalayas, eastern Himalayas, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand and Taiwan where it grows as a large sized, cool to warm growing epiphyte on lightly shaded branches and tree trunks in dense forests, and as a lithophyte on rocks along valleys at 800-1,900m. This species has pendant, branching, knotty, soft, slender stems that often have roots at the nodes, and over time, grows into a large, tangled mass of plant material. Few, linear, grass-like leaves that are deciduous appear at the apex of new growths. Flowering in spring, very short, single flowered inflorescences arise along the old and new canes carrying a single, fragrant flower that lasts about 2 weeks. Its common name is Falconer's Dendrobium named after the 1800's English Director of Calcutta Botanical Gardens. In Thailand, it is known as Sai wisut - Rot rueang saeng - Ueang mieng, and in China as Chuan Zhu Shi Hu


The photos illustrate the growth habit of this species. The in-situ photo is from HERE, and the photo below is from HERE


This species has a reputation for being difficult to sustain in cultivation for any extended period of time.
Synonyms in common use are Callista falconeri (Hook.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium erythroglossum Hayata 1914; Dendrobium falconeri albidulum Rchb.f. 1876; Dendrobium falconeri var. albidulum (Rchb.f.) B.S.Williams 1894; Dendrobium falconeri var. giganteum B.S.Williams 1885; Dendrobium falconeri var. robustum Rchb.f. 1879; Dendrobium falconeri var. senapatianum C.Deori, Gogoi & A.A.Mao 2010


Dendrobium fimbriatum Hooker 1823 SECTION Holochrysa is from Hainan and southeastern China, western Himalayas, Bangladesh, eastern Himalayas, Assam India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam where is grows as a large-sized, warm to cold growing epiphyte, lithophyte or terrestrial in humid, mossy mixed and coniferous forests at 800-2,400m. This species has long, erect, arching or pendulous, light-yellow green when aged, to 120 cm long canes that are thickest in the middle and have many oblong to lanceolate, acute or acuminate, deciduous leaves. While predominantly flowering in spring, this species can flower at any time of the year on pendant, axillary, many flowered racemes arising from the nodes near the apex of leafless and mature canes. The flowers have an unpleasant sour fragrance.


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This species too was moved from SECTION Dendrobium to SECTION Holochrysa following DNA analysis. Its common name is the Fringe-Lipped Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as - Waew mayura - Ueang kham noi - Ueang kham foi - Ueang kham ta dam, and in China as Liu SU Shi Hu.

 

This species has been used in Asian medicine. The form Dendrobium fimbriatum var. occulatum which has a distinct 'eye' or occula or maroon-blotched floral labellum is the most common in cultivation with the pure yellow-flowered form shown above less
commonly seen.

 

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Synonyms in common use are Callista fimbriata (Hook.) Kuntze 1891; Callista normalis (Falc.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium normale Falc. 1839; Dendrobium paxtonii Paxt. 1839


Dendrobium findlayanum Par. & Rchb.f 1874 SECTION Dendrobium is found in the Chinese Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos where it grows as a medium to large sized, cool growing epiphyte in at altitudes of 1,000-1,700m in mixed forests. The 50cm sulcate canes are bilaterally compressed with swollen nodes (up to 7 per cane) coloured green before becoming yellow with age carrying deciduous, narrowly elliptic or lanceolate, acute, bright green leaves.

Blooming in winter and spring takes place on very short, axillary, racemose inflorescences that arise from the nodes near the apex of mature leafless canes with few, long-lasting, color-variable, fragrant flowers. An albinistic colour variant is known and the form Dendrobium findlayanum var. occulatum has two distinct maroon 'eyes' or occula in the base of the labellum. Its common name is Findlay's Dendrobium after an 1800's English collector in Borneo. In Thailand, it is known as Phuang yok, and in China as Bang Jie Shi Hu
The photo to the left clearly shows the very distinctive sulcate pseudobulbs, while the photo below shows the form Dendrobium findlayanum var. occulatum

 

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Synonyms in common use are Callista findlayana (Parish & Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium findleyanum Par. & Rchb.f 1874 (misspelling)

 

Dendrobium friedericksianum Rchb.f 1887 SECTION Dendrobium is found in Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia where it grows as an epiphyte in the canopy of low elevation primary and secondary forest trees. It is a hot to cool growing, medium sized, epiphyte with sub erect, basally slender and cylindrical to clavate above, light yellow stems carrying in the apical third, several deciduous leaves. Blooming in spring, 2-4 waxy, long-lived flowers are borne on short, racemose inflorescences. Its common name is Friederick's Dendrobium. In Thailand it is known as Lueang chantabun.

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Dendrobium friedericksianum var. occulatum Seidenfaden & Smitinand 1959 is a variety with red blotches on either side of the base of the lip. This form is more commonly seen in collections.

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Dendrobium gibsonii Paxton 1838 SECTION Holochrysa is found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, China and Vietnam at 650-1,650m as a large sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte or lithophyte on mossy limestone cliffs. It has centrally swollen, tapering towards the apex, pendulous, ribbed stems carrying 6 to 10, ovate to lanceolate, acute, deciduous leaves. Flowering in spring and summer on a slightly fractiflex, the nodding to pendulous, 15- 20 cm, loosely 6 to 15 flowered inflorescence arises on older leafless canes.

 

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While normally epiphytic, in deforested areas it can be found growing lithophytically. This species was moved from SECTION Dendrobium to SECTION Holochrysa following DNA analysis. This species and Dendrobium chrysanthum are similar but Dendrobium gibsonii has deciduous leaves, narrower petals, sepals that are much more spreading and the lip opening is rounder.
Synonyms in use are Callista binocularis (Rchb.f.) Kuntze 1891; Callista gibsonii (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium binoculare Rchb.f. 1869; Dendrobium fuscatum Lindl. 1859; Stachyobium aureum Rchb.f. 1869
Its common name is Gibson's Dendrobium named after an 1800's English Orchid Collector. In China, it is known as Qu Zhou Shi Hu and in Thailand as Ueang Kham Ta


Dendrobium heterocarpum Wall. ex Lindl. 1830 SECTION Dendrobium can be found in the Chinese Himalayas, Assam, eastern Himalayas, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Borneo, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sumatra, Sulawesi and the Philippines. Growing in evergreen lowland forests and primary montane forests as a small to very large epiphyte at 100-1,800m this species has fusiform or sub cylindrical, erect or pendulous, many noded, stems that yellow with age. Tubular basal sheaths carrying deciduous, ligulate or oblong-lanceolate, acute to obtuse leaves. Blooming in winter through spring and summer, the flowers are borne on lateral, short, few to several, long-lived, both fragrant and not fragrant flowered inflorescences that arise from the nodes on 2 to 3 year old leafless canes.
Gary Yong Gee writing in the Orchid Species Bulletin in September 2011 says the Dendrobium heterocarpum has long-lived flowers that are sweetly fragrant, however some of the plants from the Philippines are not perfumed. Howard Wood (2006) recognises Dendrobium rhombeum Lindl., the Philippine variant, as distinct. Jim Cootes (2001) says that there are two forms found in the Philippines. One form grows erect to about 50 cm long and the flowers have a hairy lip with a lot of brown markings. The other is semi-pendulous with stems up to 2 m long, which have flowers that have a differently shaped, smooth lip. There seem to be two distinct species involved in the Philippines. Jim Comber (1990) says that plants in the Philippines are quite distinct from those found in Thailand whilst those from Borneo have much smaller flowers than either Javanese or Thai plants.


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Its common name is The Different Fruit Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Ueang si tan, and in China, as Jian Dao Chun Shi Hu. Synonyms in common use are Callista aurea [Lindl.] Kuntze 1891; Callista heterocarpa (Wall. ex Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium atractodes Ridl. 1885; Dendrobium aureum Lindl. 1830; Dendrobium aureum var. pallidum Lindl. 1839; Dendrobium heterocarpum var. henshalii Hook. 1857; Dendrobium minahassae Kraenzlin 1910; Dendrobium rhombeum Lindley 1843;

Dendrobium lituiflorum Lindley 1856 SECTION Dendrobium is found in the Chinese
Himalayas, Assam, Bangladesh, eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in broadleaved forests on tree trunks at 300m. Growing epiphytically, this species has clustered, slender, reed-like, pendulous, 11 to 15 noded, covered in sheaths, basally swollen stems carrying deciduous, fleshy, linear-lanceolate, acute leaves. Blooming in spring through autumn, one-five longlasting, fragrant flowers are borne on short scapes that arise from nodes along dormant canes. This species is deciduous in the dry, cooler months of the year.

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Albinistic and pure alba forms exist, but are less common in collections.
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This species common name is The Bent-Raceme Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Ueang sai muang - Ueang khrang, and in China as La Ba Chun Shi Hu. Synonyms in common use are Callista lituiflora (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891 and Dendrobium hanburyanum Rchb.f 1856

Dendrobium loddigesii Rolfe 1887 SECTION Dendrobium from Laos, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong is a miniature to small sized, cool growing epiphyte, lithophyte or terrestrial. Its habitat is humid, mossy, mixed and coniferous forests at 1,000 - 1,500m. It has tufted, pendant, sub terete, striated, several noded, white sheathed stems carrying alternate, fleshy, oblong, acute leaves and experiences a dry cooler winter and a warmer wet spring and summer. Flowering in Spring, the long-lasting, fragrant flowers arise on short single flowered inflorescences at the nodes of leafless canes. Some forms with variegated foliage have been discovered and are now being propagated for commercial sale. It appears that this species was well known in cultivation for many years before its natural occurrence habitat was discovered and it was described and identified. It is easily propagated from the stem growths.

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Its common name is Loddiges' Dendrobium after an English botanist of the 1800's. In China, it is known as Mei Hua Shi Hu.
Synonyms in common use are Callista loddigesii (Rolfe) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium pulchellum Loddiges not Roxb. 1933; Dendrobium seidelianum Rchb.f ?

 

 

 

 

 


Dendrobium moniliforme (L.) Sw. 1799 SECTION Dendrobium is found in China, Western Himalayas, Nepal, Eastern Himalayas; Assam, Myanmar, Vietnam, Korea, Ryukyus Islands and Taiwan at 800-3,000m. It can be a small to large sized, cold to warm epiphyte growing in broadleaf forests or as a lithophyte on rocks. It can have either erect or pendant stems, that are tufted, terete, many noded, slightly wider in the middle, purplish green in colour and covered with greyish sheaths. These canes yellow with age, and have narrowly lanceolate, deciduous, obtuse leaves. Flowering takes place from winter to the end of summer on a very short, 2 flowered inflorescences that arise from the nodes of old leafless canes. This species is deciduous, and the flowers are pleasantly fragrant, and range from white through pale rose pink and lemon in colour.


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Variegated foliage forms are known and are increasingly being bred for the commercial market including a tricoloured form from Japan where the miniature and variegated forms are desired. Many varietal forms are marketed with different leaf variegation, flower colour, and flower shapes (similar to Neofinetia falcata). Often, these forms are grown and exhibited for their foliage rather than their flowers.


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This species common name is the Necklace-Shaped Dendrobium; in China it is known as Xi Jing Shi Hu


There are many synonyms in commo use; Callista candida (Wall. ex Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Callista japonica Kuntze 1891; Callista moniliformis (L.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium castum Bateman 1868; Dendrobium crispulum Kimura & Migo 1936; Dendrobium heishanense Hayata 1914; Dendrobium japonicum Lindley 1830; Dendrobium kosepangii C.L.Tso 1933; Dendrobium monile[Thunb.]Kraenzl 1910; Dendrobium moniliforme var. malipoense L.J.Chen & Z.J.Liu, J. Wuhan 2008; Dendrobium nienkui Tso 1933; Dendrobium taiwanianum S.S.Ying 1978; Dendrobium yunnanense Finet 1907; Dendrobium zonatum Rolfe 1903; Epidendrum monile Thunberg 1799; Epidendrum moniliferum Panzer 1783; *Epidendrum moniliforme Linn. 1753; Limodorum monile (Thunb.) Thunb. 1794; Onychium japonicum Bl. 1848; Ormostema albiflora Raf. 1836

Dendrobium moschatum Sw. 1805 SECTION Holochrysa occurs through the Western and Eastern Himalayas, Assam, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Myanmar, Hainan China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam as an epiphyte in open forests on tree trunks at 300-900m. It is large, hot to warm growing epiphyte with erect, arching or pendulous, terete, canes that turn brown with age. The narrowly elliptic to oblong-ovate, leathery, acute leaves are carried in the apical half. Flowering occurs in late spring and early summer on an axillary, pendulous, 20 cm, few to several flowered racemes with musk scented flowers that last about a week from or near the apex of a leafless cane. This species is the type species for SECTION Holochrysa.
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This species has an unusual pouch-shaped labellum as shown in the close-up photo. Flower colour is highly variable ranging from lemon yellow to intense/orange through to dusky pink forms.


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Its common name is the Musky Smelling Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Leueang nok khamin - Ueang mawn khai - Ueang champa ; while in China it is known as China Shao Chun Shi Hu.
Synonyms in common use include Callista calceola (Carey ex Hook.) Kuntze 1891; Callista moschata Kuntze 1891; Cymbidium moschatum Willd. 1805; Dendrobium calceolaria Carey ex Hook. 1825; Dendrobium cupreum Herb. ex Lindl. 1835; Dendrobium moschatum Wall. ex D.Don 1825; Dendrobium moschatum var. unguipetalum I.Barua 2001; Epidendrum moschatum Buch.-Ham. 1800; Thicuania moschata (Sw.) Raf. 1836


Dendrobium nobile
Lindley 1830 SECTION Dendrobium is a medium sized species found in the Chinese and Eastern Himalayas, Assam, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It is a cool to hot growing terrestrial or lithophytic species in broadleaf, evergreen, lowland forests and primary montane forests, and often on mossy limestone rocks at 200 -2,000m. With erect, clustered, compressed, grooved with age, yellowish stems that carry distichous, coriaceous, strap shaped or oblong, persistent leaves, this species flowers in winter and spring but can flower throughout the years given appropriate conditions. Short, 2 to 4 flowered racemes bear fragrant, waxy, sometimes heavy-textured, long-lived, highly variable flowers that arise at the upper nodes of leafed and leafless canes.

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This species is highly variable as to colour and flower shape, with some line-bred cultivars having much more rounded and filled in flowers. Several varietal forms are recognised. It has been widely used in hybridising in Japan and Hawaii, and many of the so called soft-cane or nobile hybrids with have Dendrobium nobile in their breeding. Care needs to be taken in this regard as many are sold as Dendrobium nobile, but in fact are hybrids.


The typical flower form is relatively open although Dendrobium nobile var. cooksonianum is more intensely coloured and has larger petals and sepals.

 

 

 


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Dendrobium nobile var. virginalis is an alba form.
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Its common name is the Noble Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Ueang Khao Kiu; in China Shi Hu. Synonyms in use are Callista nobilis (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium coerulescens Wallich 1838; Dendrobium formosanum [Rchb.f]Masamune 1933;
Dendrobium lindleyanum Griffith 1851; Dendrobium nobile f. nobilius (Rchb.f.) M.Hiroe 1971; Dendrobium nobile var. alboluteum Huyen & Aver. 1989; Dendrobium nobile var. formosanum Rchb.f. 1883; Dendrobium nobile var. nobilius Rchb.f. 1833; Dendrobium nobile virginale Rolfe 1900; Dendrobium wallichianum B.S.Williams 1862.

Dendrobium parishii Low 1863 SECTION Dendrobium comes from China, Assam, Bangladesh, Eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam where is grows as an epiphyte in broadleaf, evergreen, lowland forests and primary montane forests at 250-1,700m. It is a small to medium sized, hot to cool growing species with erect or slightly pendant yellowish stems enveloped by white, membraneous sheaths carrying narrowly ovate to elliptic, obtuse, stiff, leathery, blunt, deciduous leaves that are apically notched. Fragrant, longlasting flowers borne on short 2-3 flowered racemes occur from February to August with a peak time May and June. Flowers arise from the nodes on the upper half of old, pendulous, leafless canes. Various colour forms are known including albinistic and coerulea variants.

Its common name is Parish's Dendrobium, named after an 1800's English missionary and orchid collector. In Thailand, it is known as Ueang sai nam khrang - Ueang attakrit - Ueang inthakrit - Ueang sai nam khrang, and in China as Zi Ban Shi Hu

 

 

The pure alba form is less often seen but is very attractive
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Synonyms in use are Callista parishii (Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891; Callista rhodopterygia (Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium polyphlebium Rchb.f. 1887; Dendrobium rhodopterygium Rchb.f 1875

 

Dendrobium primulinum Lindley 1858 SECTION Dendrobium is found in Assam, Eastern Himalayas, Nepal, Western Himalayas, Andaman Islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China and Vietnam. It is large, warm growing, pendant epiphyte that grows on deciduous trees at 500-1,000m. This species grows in habitats where it receives direct sunlight for a minimum of 3 hours each day. Dendrobium primulinum has clustered, ascending, prostrate or pendulous, terete, sulcate stems covered in white sheath. Flowering from winter through to summer, flowers are borne on short inflorescences with minute bracts and 1or 2 fragrant flowers. The flower stems arise from nodes along leafless canes.
Several colour variants of this species are known including alba, albinistic and predominantly yellow. Its common name is the Primrose Yellow Dendrobium, while in Thailand it is known as Ueang Sai Nam Phung


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Some authors consider this species to be synonymous with Dendrobium polyanthum. Other synonyms in use are Callista primulina (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891 and Dendrobium nobile var. pallidiflorum Hooker 1856.

 

 

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Dendrobium pulchellum Roxb. 1832 SECTION Dendrobium is found in Assam India, Bangladesh, eastern Himalayas, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, China and Vietnam at 70-2,200m. It is a large, hot to cool growing epiphyte that is found in open deciduous forests with hot, wet humid summers and cooler, drier winters. It has erect, slender, terete, purplish with age, up to 2m stems enveloped by purple-striped leaf sheaths and carrying persistent, linear-oblong, cordate at base, obtuse or acute leaves. Blooming from late winter to spring, on drooping several flowered inflorescences up to 30 cm long arise laterally from nodes near the apex of leafed and leafless canes. The 5-15, long-lasting, up to 13cm flowers are pleasantly fragrant. Several colour forms are known including albinistic variants. This species common name is the Charming Dendrobium while in Thailand, it is known as Ueang chang nao - Ueang takwai

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Synonyms in use are Callista pulchella (Roxb. ex Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium brevifolium Lindl. 1858;
Dendrobium dalhousieanum Wallich 1844; Dendrobium moschatum Griff. 1851


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Dendrobium signatum Rchb. f. 1884 SECTION Dendrobium comes from Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam at 200-1,500m. It is a medium sized, hot to cool growing epiphyte with slender, fleshy, becoming pendulous with age pseudobulbs carrying leathery, lanceolate, pointed, eventually deciduous leaves.

Flowering from winter to early summer, two long-lived, fragrant flowers are borne on short inflorescences that arise on a mature leafless cane towards the apex. Several colour variants are known.

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This species common name is the Marked Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Kluay mai noi - Ueang kham kiu - Ueang tin nok - Ueang tin pet. Synonyms in use are Dendrobium hildebrandtii Rolfe 1894; Dendrobium tortile var. hildebrandi (Rolfe) T. Tang & F.T. Wang 1951


Dendrobium tortile Lindley 1847 SECTION Dendrobium is found in Assam India, Bangladesh, Andaman Islands, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam at 1,200m. It is a small to medium sized, cool, ascending to pendant growing epiphyte, terrestrial or lithophyte. It has very distinctive club to spindle shaped, grooved and medially flattened stems with tubular leaf sheaths carrying 3 to 4, thin, deciduous, curved, leathery, sharply pointed leaves. Longlasting, fragrant flowers appear from late winter to early summer on axillary up to 8 cm racemes with 2-3 flowers per inflorescence. The inflorescences arise from the upper leaf axils of leafless canes. As do many of the species in the Section, flower colour is quite variable with several colour forms known, predominantly pale pink to more intense pink as well as albinistic variants.

This photo from Peter Williams shows Dendrobium tortile growing lithophytically in Thailand.

 


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Its common name is the Twisted Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Khao kiu.
Synonyms in use are Dendrobium dartoisianum De Wild 1906; Dendrobium haniffi Ridl. ex Burkill 1924

Dendrobium unicum Seidenfadden 1970 SECTION Dendrobium. This species' common name, the Unique Dendrobium is quite appropriate as there are few others like it. Found in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand in evergreen; semi-deciduous and deciduous dry lowland forests and savannah woodlands at 800-1,500m, it is both epiphytic and lithophytic. Some years ago on a trip to Thailand, we saw this species in flower during a prolonged drought.

The plants were severely desiccated and blackened by their exposure to the hot sun (note the lichen on the branches which suggests some humidity is present, perhaps from overnight dew even during drought conditions).

This is a truly miniature species with clustered, small stems carrying 2 to 3, apical, narrow, persistent leaves. Flowering in late spring and early summer, up to 4 fragrant flowers are borne on axillary, short racemes that arise from near and at the apex of leafed and leafless canes. It is similar to Dendrobium dickasonii and Dendrobium lamyaiae but has smaller flowers with a wider cupped lip and three central keels

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Dendrobium wardianum Warner 1862 SECTION Dendrobium is found in Assam, China, Eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, where it is a medium to large sized cool growing epiphyte or lithophyte. Found in broad-leafed, evergreen lowland forests between 1,000 and 2,000m, it is an erect to pendulous species with terete, nodally thickened, with up to 80 cm stems carrying deciduous, oblong-lanceolate, acute leaves. Flowering in winter, very short inflorescences typically carry 1-3 fragrant, relatively large longlasting flowers that arise from prior years' leafless canes. Several colour forms are known. Large, brightly coloured Dendrobium wardianum flowers are said to stand out like beacons in the forest. Its habitats are under threat as clearing for cropping and oil palm plantations expand.
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Its common name is Ward's Dendrobium named after an 1800's English orchid enthusiast. In Thailand, it is known as Mani trirong, and in China as Da Bao Qiao Shi Hu. Synonyms in use are Callista wardiana Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium album Wms.; Dendrobium falconeri Hkr. var. wardianum Hkr.; Dendrobium wardianum candidum Rchb.f. 1876; Dendrobium wardianum var. assamicum S.Jenn. 1875; Dendrobium wardianum var. pictum O'Brien 1894.
In 2004, while on a trip to Chiang Mai, we saw and tried to purchase large plants of Dendrobium wardianum from a nursery but were informed that the plants were not for sale. The plants were in flower, and given the large, heavy substance and intense flower colouration, I believe that the plants were most likely 4N forms. To make a long story short, the nursery proprietor Hans Herman failed to supply any of the orchids that were purchased by the group and despite efforts over several years, never made good on his promise to supply the plants or reimburse us. The nursery closed and subsequently, Mr Herman died without meeting his debt to the many orchid growers who lost money dealing with him.

SECTION Formosae includes the species which have the canes covered in fine 'hair'. Many members of this Section have well-deserved reputations for being difficult to grow in cultivation. All species of this section including those which occurs eastern Indochina have attractive, long-lasting flowers and are of outstanding significance for ornamental horticulture and breeding. Extensive collection in nature for the orchid trade and deforestation for agriculture mean that they have become endangered or extinct in many areas of their primary distribution.
Some of the more commonly seen members of this section in cultivation are:
Dendrobium bellatulum
Dendrobium cariniferum
Dendrobium catenatum
Dendrobium christyanum
Dendrobium cruentum,
Dendrobium daklakense
Dendrobium dearei
Dendrobium draconis
Dendrobium formosum
Dendrobium infundibulum
Dendrobium longicornu
Dendrobium ochraceum
Dendrobium sanderae
Dendrobium scabrilingue
Dendrobium schuetzei
Dendrobium senile
Dendrobium trigonopus
Dendrobium wattii
Dendrobium williamsonii
Dendrobium bellatulum
Rolfe 1903 SECTION Formosae. This miniature sized warm to cold growing species from China, Himalayas, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam is found in primary montane forests at 700- 2,100m. It is a sometimes solitary epiphyte with tufted, erect to suberect, close set, very short, ovoid to fusiform, grey-green stems covered in fine black hairs. They have 2-4, eventually deciduous, sub terminal,
distichous, ligulate to narrowly elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, obtuse, unequally bilobed, grey-green leathery leaves, covered in fine black hairs on both surfaces. Flowering in spring, on very short racemes, the 3-5 flowered inflorescences arise from leafy stems. The flowers are pleasantly fragrant and longlasting. In common with many members of the genus Dendrobium, several colour variants exist.
On a trip to Vietnam in 2008, we visited Dalat and saw Dendrobium bellatulum growing on pine trees in secondary
forests. Plants were generally small and solitary with only a few on each tree.

 


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While similar to both Dendrobium luekelianum and Dendrobium christyanum, Dendrobium bellatulum differs in the raised callus on the lip with the yellow apex. Its common name is the Enchanting Dendrobium. In China, it is known as Ai Shi Hu. The synonym in use is Dendrobium bellatulum var. cleistogamia Pradhan 1979 that generally refers to the albinistic variant


Dendrobium cariniferum Reichb.f. 1869 SECTION Formosae can be found in the Chinese Himalayas, Assam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as a miniature sized, hot to cool growing epiphyte in humid, mossy, mixed and coniferous forests on mossy branches of old, dwarf, gnarled trees and primary montane forests at elevations at 450 1,800m. It has thick, hirsute stems with 4-6, broad, hirsute beneath leaves. Flowering in spring on very short, apical inflorescences with 2-5 hirsute flowers, it has a pleasant orange fragrance.


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Its common name is the Keel-Carrying Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Ueang sae dong - Ueang ngoen daeng - Ueang kachok - Ueang tueng, and in China, as Chi E Shi Hu. Synonyms in use are Callista carinifera (Rchb.f.) Kuntze 1891;
Dendrobium cariniferum var lateritium Rchb.f


Dendrobium catenatum Lindley 1830 SECTION Formosae. This species can be found in China, Korea and Japan in moderately damp montane forests as a small to medium sized, cool to warm growing epiphyte, and as a lithophyte at 300-1,600m. It is principally marketed as Dendrobium tosaense. It has long, clustered, terete, pendant or erect, pale green stems carrying to 12, ligulate-lanceolate, acute, deciduous leaves. Flowering from mid-winter to mid-spring, flowers are borne on lax, 2-6cm few to several flowered inflorescences that arise from the nodes near the apex of 2 to 3 year old leafless canes. Dendrobium officinale and Dendrobium candidum are similar and often listed as synonyms. Several colour variants are known.

 

 

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Its common name is the Chained Dendrobium. In Japan, it is known as Kibana-seki-koku, and in China Huang Shi Hu. Synonyms in use are Callista stricklandiana (Rchb.f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium funiushanense T.B.Chao, Z.X.Chen & Z.K.Chen 1992; Dendrobium huoshanense Z.Z.Tang & S.J.Cheng 1984; Dendrobium pere-fauriei Hayata 1916; Dendrobium stricklandianum Rchb.f. 1877;
Dendrobium tosaense Makino 1891; Dendrobium tosaense var. chingshuishanianum S.S.Ying 1989; Dendrobium tosaense var. pere-fauriei (Hayata) Masam. 1933

Dendrobium christyanum Rchb. f. 1882 SECTION Formosae. Growing as miniature to small sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte in highland primary cloud forests at 800-1,600 m in northern Vietnam and Thailand, and southwestern China, this species has caespitose, subclavate, abbreviated pseudobulbs enveloped by 3-4, pellucid sheaths covered in black hairs and carries 2 black hair covered lanceolate, obtuse, obliquely bilobed apically leaves towards the apex of the pseudobulbs as can be seen in the following in situ photo. Fragrant flowers in late spring and summer occur on either terminal or lateral, very short, single flowered inflorescences that arise from the apex or on the sides of old and new pseudobulbs.

 

 

 

 

 


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Dendrobium christyanum is similar to both Dendrobium luekelianum and Dendrobium bellatulum but differs as it possesses a flat central callus on the lip with a yellow or white apex.
Its common name is Christy's Dendrobium named after an 1800's English orchid enthusiast. In China, it is known as Mao Qiao Shi Hu, and in Thailand as Uang Sae Doi Pui. The synonym in use is Dendrobium margaritaceum Finet 1901

Dendrobium cruentum Rchb.f 1884 SECTION Formosae. This species is considered rare and endangered in the wild due to massive over-collection and deforestation and accordingly, is listed in Appendix I of CITES. Fortunately, it is now readily available in flask from artificial propagation. It is found in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam as a small to medium sized, hot to warm growing, epiphytic species below 1,000m in open forests where it can be found on smaller trees. Dendrobium cruentum has erect pseudobulbs that are swollen basally, with hairy leaf sheaths carrying many, deciduous, elliptic-oblong, leathery leaves that are hairy on the underside and are spaced all along the stem. Flowering occurs in spring through autumn on axillary, short, 1-2 flowered inflorescences with faintly fragrant, longlasting flowers that arise from the nodes on the stem in between leaves at the upper apex of the leafed pseudobulb.

Its common name is the Blood Red Dendrobium, while in Thailand it is known as Ueang nok kaeo. The reason is clearly demonstrated by the following photo. The article in Orchids Australia notes that sadly, this plant died.

 


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Once again, flower colour is quite variable.

 

 

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The synonym in use is Callista cruenta (Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dendrobium senile Parish ex Rchb.f 1865 SECTION Formosae comes from Myanmar, Thailand and Laos where is can be found as miniature, warm to cool growing epiphyte at 500-1,200m. It has distinctive sub erect, reclining to creeping, hairy, succulent-like pseudobulbs and with 2-6, ovate-lanceolate, alternate, semi-deciduous leaves. Flowering in spring and summer, the lemon fragrant one to several flowers are borne on short inflorescences that arise from the upper nodes of the leafed and leafless canes. Its common name is the White Haired Dendrobium, while in Thailand, it is known as Ueang chani. This species is known to be difficult to maintain over time in cultivation


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Synonyms in use are Callista senilis (Parish & Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891; Callista senilis (Parish & Rchb. f.) Brieger 1981

Dendrobium senile in situ Thailand
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Dendrobium trigonopus Rchb. f. 1887 SECTION Formosae
This small sized, hot to cool growing epiphyte is found in Myanmar, Thailand, southwestern China, Laos and Vietnam in remnant forests on tree trunks at 300-1,500m. It has tufted, fusiform, sulcate, shiny purplish brown, stems carrying 1 to 4, subterminal, ligulate or oblong, thick, papery, dull green, acute leaves. Flowering late winter and early spring, 1-4 waxy, long lasting, fragrant flowers with minute bracts are borne on very short racemes that arise from the nodes near the apex of both leafy and leafless canes. This species has also proven difficult to maintain in cultivation.

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Dendrobium trigonopus in situ
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Its common name is the Triangular Column Foot Dendrobium. In Thailand, it is known as Kam Pak Gai - Ueang kham liam (translated - the Golden Chicken's Beak Orchid). In China, it is known as Chi Geng Shi Hu. Synonyms in use are Callista trigonopus (Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium velutinum Rolfe 1895

Dendrobium wattii (Hook. F) Rchb.f 1882 SECTION Formosae
Found as an epiphyte in dense forests on tree trunks at 1,500-2,600 m from China, Myanmar, northern Thailand, northwest India, northern Laos and Vietnam China through Burma and northern Laos, it is another member of the nigro-hirsute (black haired) section of Dendrobium and is noted for its long-lasting flowers. It is a miniature to medium sized, cool to cold growing epiphyte with slender, cylindrical canes carrying 4 to 8, narrowly linear, leathery leaves with the leaf sheaths having fine black hairs. Blooming in the spring on short inflorescences arising near the apex of leafless canes, short racemes carry 2 to 3 flowers. The leafless canes rebloom for several years.

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Its common name is Watt's Dendrobium after an English botanist and orchid collector in India in the late1800's. In China, it is known as Gao Shan Shi Hu. Synonyms in use are Callista wattii (Hook.f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium cariniferum var. wattii Hkr.f; Dendrobium congianum Aver.2016; Dendrobium evrardii Gagnep. 1930

In situ photo by Peter Williams

 

 


Dendrobium williamsonii J. Day & Rchb. f. 1869 SECTION Formosae
This species is also in the nigro-hirsute group and is found in the Chinese Himalayas, Assam India, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam in forests on tree trunks at 600-1,400m as a small sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte. It has upright, elongate-fusiform, velvety stems that are many leafed towards the apex carrying, oblong or lanceolate, velvety, obscurely bilobed apically leaves with leaf sheaths that are densely covered with black hairs. Flowering in the late winter and early spring, 1-3 waxy, fragrant flowers are borne on very short, black hairy racemes that arise from near the apex of the newest maturing cane.

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Its common name is Williamson's Dendrobium named after an English orchid collector in India in the 1800's. In China, it is known as Hei Mao Shi Hu. Synonyms in use are Callista lubbersiana (Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891; Callista williamsonii (J. Day & Rchb. f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium lubbersianum Rchb.f 1882

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General Culture Notes for Section Formosae species
As noted earlier, Dendrobium species in section Formosae have a deserved reputation for being difficult to grow and sustain over the long term in cultivation. However, some growers do not share this experience and it is due to their understanding of the natural environment and habitat from which the species originates. This generally involves a resting period where the species should be kept drier, although this rule does not apply to all species in the section. Generally, this drier period occurs in their natural habitat in winter, so these species need protection from winter rainfall, and will benefit from some warmth as winter in their habitat during local winter will be dry, but not cold and dark as can be experiences in Western Australia. The majority of species in this section are epiphytes, so can be grown in media in pots, or if you are able to maintain humidity in summer, on slab mounts. The media should be able to hold sufficient moisture between watering to prevent the plant from becoming dehydrated, but not stay soggy. Remember, the majority of this section's species are epiphytes and their roots are exposed to air and completely dry between rain periods. You will find that as your plants grow new canes; most often the active roots will be outside the pot in the air. Therefore, if you are growing in a container, the media should allow the free movement of air through the container. Choose a media of consistent size (larger media for species with larger roots, small media for species with very fine roots). If it is part of your orchid culture, you could include perlite or styrofoam/polystyrene to provide air spaces. Generally Dendrobium species prefer slightly acid media about pH 6.7. All of this is important as the species in this section are susceptible to root loss if the media breaks down and stays wet, is affected by salt build-up, or is invaded by weeds and/or fungal or bacterial pathogens.


SECTION Latouria
The fifty or so species in section Latouria are primarily found in New Guinea, although some members are found in the Philippines and Samoa. They are principally epiphytic and can be found from sea level to high altitude, usually in areas of high, year-round rainfall. The flowers are long lasting, and range from small to relatively large with the latter being popular for hybridisation. Early collection and identification of these species from the wild means that artificially propagated plants of the more showy species are readily available at reasonable prices. These less well-known species often come from very inaccessible habitats that are difficult to replicate, and are therefore uncommon in collections. Some of the more frequently available species in this section are:
Dendrobium aberrans
Dendrobium alexandrae
Dendrobium atroviolaceum
Dendrobium bifalce
Dendrobium convolutum
Dendrobium engae
Dendrobium eximium
Dendrobium finisterrae
Dendrobium forbesii
Dendrobium johsoniae
Dendrobium macrophyllum
Dendrobium polysema
Dendrobium punamense
Dendrobium rhodostictum
Dendrobium shiraishii
Dendrobium spectabile
Dendrobium tapiniense


Dendrobium aberrans Schltr. 1912 SECTION Latouria
This is a mini-miniature to miniature sized, hot to cool growing epiphyte from eastern Papua New Guinea where it grows on tree fern and shady tree trunks in mossy forests at 300-1,900m. It has clustered, spherical to spindle-shaped, purple, olive-yellow or glossy green pseudobulbs with 3 to 4 nodes below oval, leathery, spreading, 2 to 3 apical leaves. Flowering throughout the year, short, wiry, erect or pendant inflorescences arising from the apex of old and new canes carry 2 to 6 white often marked with pink on the column flowers in a cluster. The flowers are long-lasting, are sometimes fragrant and can be produced on very small plants.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dendrobium aberrans on slab mount
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Its common name is the Deviating Dendrobium, and the synonym in use is Sayeria aberrans (Schltr.) Rauschert 1983.

Dendrobium alexandrae Schltr. 1912 SECTION Latouria
Found in Papua New Guinea as a medium to large sized, cool growing epiphyte on high branches of moss-covered trees in lower montane and cool mist forests at 900-1,200m in high light, exposed positions. Andre Millar says that often she found this species in the highest trees in the forest. The canes carry 2 to 3 apical, elliptic, bluish-green, erect or spreading leaves. Autumn flowering occurs on axillary, racemose, laxly, several flowered inflorescences arising from the nodes at the apex of the pseudobulb. The flowers are predominantly white with heavy spotting on the sepals and petals with a large pronounced lip coloured red and green. This species was once thought to be lost, or perhaps a hybrid of Dendrobium spectabile, but fortunately, recent rediscovery of substantial populations in some locations has revealed that this is not so.

 

 

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Its common name is Alexandra's Dendrobium named after Schlechter's wife. Synonyms in use are Latourea alexandrae [Schltr.] Breiger 1981; Latourorchis alexandre [Schltr.] Breiger 1981; Sayeria alexandrae (Schltr.) Rauschert 1983

 

 

 

Dendrobium atroviolaceum Rolfe 1890 SECTION Latouria
Found in Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands at 200-800m, Dendrobium atroviolaceum is a medium sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte on large tree trunks in rainforest. Andre Millar writes that this species was still plentiful on the island of New Ireland in light forests, although was much less plentiful on the mainland where many thousands had been taken from the wild by collectors for the British and German nurseries before 1900. It is also found in Irian Jaya in the Cyclops Mountains near Jayapura. The average day temperature is 24-28°C and night 20-22°C throughout the year, a daily variance of only 4-6°C, while the relative humidity is always 70-80%.

It has a clavately-fusiform, deeply sulcate, greenish when young, brownish with age stem carrying 2 to 4 apical, ovate-oblong, thick, coriaceous, obtusely obtuse apically, dark green above and paler below leaves. Flowering throughout the year, although most often in autumn through spring, 6-8 long-lasting (up to 3 months) fragrant, heavy textured nodding flowers are borne on short axillary racemes arising from just below or at the apex of new or older canes. Photo source:


Its common name is the Black Blood-Red Dendrobium, and synonyms in use are
Dendrobium eustachyum Schlechter 1923; Dendrobium macgregorii F.Muell. & Kraenzl. 1894; Latourea atroviolacea [Rolfe] Breiger 1981; Latourorchis atroviolacea [Rolfe] Breiger 1981; Sayeria atroviolacea (Rolfe) Rauschert 1983;

Dendrobium bifalce Lindl. 1843 SECTION Latouria is found in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, the Bismark Islands, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Queensland in coastal or riverine forests at sea-level to 800m where it grows in rainforests on trees and boulders in brightly lit, humid environments. It is a small sized, hot growing epiphyte with stout, apically thickening, 5 to 7 noded stems carrying 2 to 4, coriaceous, suberect, elliptic-oblong, obtuse leaves. Flowering in autumn and winter, up to 10 small fleshy flowers are borne on terete, stout inflorescences with distinct triangular-ovate, apiculate floral bracts.
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Plants are often bleached yellowish green by the sun. Andree Millar wrote that this species "is the most common of all Latoureas, and one of the most common orchids in the New Guinea lowlands". She says that they collected large clumps of plants in the 1970s, sometimes with as many as 100 or more plants in the clump. She noted that the flower colour varied from apple green with purple streaks to brownish green.


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Synonyms in use are Bulbophyllum oncidiochilum Kraenzl. 1894; Callista bifalcis (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium breviracemosum F.M.Bailey 1899; Dendrobium chloropterum Rchb.f. & S.Moore 1878; Doritis bifalcis (Lindl.) Rchb.f. 1860; Latourea oncidiochila (Kraenzl.) Kraenzl. 1894; Leioanthum bifalce (Lindl.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002;
Sayeria bifalcis (Lindl.) Rauschert 1983. Its common name is the Two Sickles Dendrobium, and in Australia it is known as the Native Bee Orchid.

Dendrobium convolutum Rolfe 1906 SECTION Latouria is found in northern Papua New Guinea at sea level to 650m as hot to warm growing epiphyte in rainforests near the coast. It is a small sized species with yellow stems that have 4-5 nodes beneath 3 apical, elliptic-lanceolate leaves. Flowering in late spring and early summer, 2-4 long-lasting flowers are borne on 8-12 cm axillary, suberect, racemose inflorescences arising from the apex of leafless canes and below the leaves on canes carrying leaves. Photo source:
The flowers of Dendrobium convolutum resemble those of Dendrobium macrophyllum but are smaller, distinctively coloured, lack any hairs on the outer surface and have a distinctive callus on the lip. The species was originally described by Rolfe from a plant sent to him by F. Sander which arrived with plants of Dendrobium atroviolaceum. As the latter is found only in Milne Bay Province, this may well be the type locality of Dendrobium convolutum as well. The flowers of Dendrobium convolutum resemble those of Dendrobium macrophyllum but are smaller, distinctively coloured, lack any hairs on the outer surface and have a distinctive callus on the lip. Its common name is the Convoluted Dendrobium, and the synonym in use is Sayeria convoluta (Rolfe) Rauschert 1983.

Dendrobium engae T.M. Reeve 1979 SECTION Latouria while only relatively recently described is widespread throughout highland Papua New Guinea where it can be found growing epiphytically on larger branches of Nothofagus trees growing in montane forests on ridges at over 2000m, although is also known to grow up to 3,500m.


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It is cool-cold growing species with stout, erect, yellowish, 10 noded pseudobulbs carrying 3 to 5 apical, spreading to suberect, thick, leathery, oblong, glossy, dark green leaves with a rounded apices. Flowering in late spring, few to many wide open, long-lasting, sweetly scented flowers are borne on 25cm inflorescences. The flowers have cream-white sepals; greenish white petals and a labellum that is greenish yellow or yellow, heavily spotted maroon on midlobe and veined maroon on side-lobes with white callus. When first open, it is a translucent green colour that becomes cream over a few days. Its common name is the Enga Dendrobium named after the Papua New Guinea province. While not endangered, this species like many others in Papua New Guinea is under threat from deforestation.

Dendrobium eximium Schltr. 1906 SECTION Latouria is found in Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya. In northern Papua New Guinea, they grow on mossy trees in montane forests on the slopes of the Torricella Department both north and south at 600 m., and in Irian Jaya in the mountains of Went at 400 m. These regions experience year-round rain and high humidity, and this medium sized species is a hot to warm growing epiphyte found on moss covered trees. Canes have up to 5 nodes below 2 apical, oblong, spreading leaves. Flowering in spring and in autumn on few to many flowered racemose inflorescences that arise from nodes near the apex of the canes, it has 2-7 large, 4.5-7.6 cm showy flowers. The white flowers sometimes have yellow petals of outer whorl, and on the lower side, are covered with hairs. The inner whorls are very wide. The side plots of the curved lip are decorated with lilac, purple or red-brown stripes, and are curved around the spine. Dendrobium eximium has the largest flowers of all the setose species of section Latouria. In flower colour and petal shape it closely approaches Dendrobium forbesii but differs in its broader petals, sepals which are much more hairy on their outer surfaces and lateral sepals which lack lamellate keels on their mid veins. The lip also differs in having broader side-lobes and a smaller apiculate midlobe. The mentum (chin-like projection consisting of the column foot and the bases of the lateral sepals) is reminiscent of that of Dendrobium finisterrae.

 

It is also similar to Dendrobium rhodistichum but differs by the hairs found on the exterior of the sepals.
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Its common name is the Extraordinary Dendrobium. Synonyms in use are Dendrobium bellum J.J. Sm. 1910; Dendrobium wollastonii Ridl. 1916; Sayeria eximia (Schltr.) Rauschert 1983

 

 

 

 

Dendrobium finisterrae Schltr. 1912 SECTION Latouria Found in Papua and New Guinea as a large sized, cool to cold growing epiphyte found on moss covered trees in mist forests at 900-2,100m. The clustered, somewhat flattened, orange yellow canes carry 2 to 3, oblong-elliptic, suberect leaves. This species flowers in winter, spring and summer on erect 8-10 flowered inflorescences arising from near the apex of the canes with faintly fragrant flowers. In common with other species in this section, the flowers do not open widely and are often facing downwards. The incurved rather nose-like mentum, very hairy sepals and hook-like ligule on the column foot serve to distinguish Dendrobium finisterrae from the other species with hairy ovaries. It is probably most closely allied to Dendrobium eximium, both having a similarly shaped mentum, but in the latter the petals are very much larger than the dorsal sepal and are unspotted. The flowers of Dendrobium finisterrae have smaller creamy petals spotted towards the base and its flowers do not open at all widely. Dendrobium finisterrae var. polystictum has more intense spots and colouration.


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Its common Name is the End Of The World Dendrobium [Finisterre Mountains of New Guinea]. Synonyms in use are Dendrobium melanolasium Gilli 1980 publ. 1983; Sayeria finisterrae (Schltr.) Rauschert 1983

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dendrobium forbesii Ridl. 1886 SECTION Latouria comes from eastern Papua and New Guinea where it can be found in in moist, mossy, open mountain rainforest valleys at 900-1,500m. It is a medium sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte with basally slender, clavate, orange stems carrying 2 apical, elliptic-oblong leaves. Flowering in summer through to early winter, the flowers are borne on long, erect racemes with long acuminate floral bracts. The inflorescence arises from between the leaves at the apex of a new growth and carries 7-20 fragrant, long-lasting flowers. The backside of the sepals and ovaries are covered with fine hairs.


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Dendrobium forbesii is recognised as one the most attractive in the Latouria section. The flower colour is variable with some forms very white and others with more light green or cream tones. Schlechter identified Dendrobium forbesii var. praestans which he believed was larger than the form described by Ridley. Dendrobium forbesii is readily recognised by its broad petals, sepals which are almost glabrous and lateral sepals with a broad lacerate keel on the mid-vein.
Its common name Forbes' Dendrobium is named for an 1800's English Orchid collector. Synonyms in use are Dendrobium ashworthiae O'Brien 1901; Dendrobium eustachyum Schltr. 1923; Dendrobium forbesii var. praestans Schltr. 1912; Latourea forbesii [Ridl.] Breiger 1981; Latourorchis forbesii [Ridl.] Breiger 1981; Sayeria eustachya (Schltr.) Rauschert 1983; Sayeria forbesii (Ridl.) Rauschert 1983 Ridl.


Dendrobium johnsoniae F. Muell. 1882 SECTION Latouria is a lowland Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya and Bougainville Island species found at 500-1,500m as a small to medium sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte on montane forest Casuarina and Araucaria trees in high light along streams and gullies. This species has narrow fusiform (spindle shaped - widest in the middle tapering to both ends) to 9 noded, purple brown or green stems carrying to 4, suberect, ovate, bilobed apically leaves. Flowering in autumn and winter (although secondary flowering can take place throughout the year) on 30cm erect, several to many lowered inflorescences carry long-lasting, pleasantly fragrant flowers arising from the nodes near the apex of both leafed and leafless canes. Some early records that showed this species as occurring in Northern Australia have been shown to be erroneous.

 

 

Cribb, P. says Dendrobium johnsoniae is allied to Dendrobium rhodostictum and Dendrobium otaguroanum but is readily distinguished by its pure white flowers veined with purple-red on the side-lobes only, its rhombic petals and an elongate lip with a lanceolate midlobe.
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Its common name, Johnson's Dendrobium is named after the daughter of an 1800's New South Wales Pastor.

 

Synonyms in use are Dendrobium macfarlanei Rchb. f. 1882; Dendrobium monodon Kraenzl. 1910; Dendrobium niveum Rolfe 1891; Latourorchis johnsoniae {F. Meuller] Breiger 1981 and Sayeria johnsoniae (F. Muell.) Rauschert 1983

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Dendrobium x 'kips special' is a natural hybrid between Dendrobium rhodostictum and Dendrobium ruginosum, and, according to Laverack, Harris and Stocker 2000, can be found growing on trees along roadside cuttings on the road to Panguna mine, Bougainville at 1,200-2,000m in constantly wet climatic conditions. A small plant, it has large, long-lasting (up to 3 months) flowers and grows well in cultivation. Unfortunately, I could not find any photos of this natural hybrid that I was confident are correct.

 

 


Dendrobium macrophyllum A. Richard 1834 (not Lindley or Ames) SECTION Latouria is a widely distributed species found in Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, the Philippines, Sulawesi, Irian Jaya, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Santa Cruz, Vanuatu and the Caroline Islands. A medium to large sized, hot to cool growing epiphytic species, it can be found in habitats ranging from hot coastal primary to cool montane forests from sea-level to 1,700m.


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This species has ribbed, slightly flattened, slender basal and thicker upper stems carrying 2-4, large, persistent leaves. Flowering from spring to late summer, erect 15-40 cm racemes arising from the leaf axils at the apex of the leafed canes carry up to 25 heavy textured, colour variable, delicately fragrant long-lasting flowers. This species grows into large clumps over time in its native habitat.
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Dendrobium macrophyllum is the most widespread species in Section Latouria, and is variable in flower size and colouration. However, it may be readily distinguished from all allied species with setose ovaries (covered with setae or bristles) by its usually 3-leaved pseudobulbs, oblong-elliptic leaves, relatively narrow petals, and broad side-lobes of the lip. The closely allied Dendrobium polysema has more widely open flowers and tapered lip side-lobes
Its common name is the Large-Leafed Dendrobium, while in New Guinea it is known as the Pastor's Orchid.
Many synonyms exist for this species. These include Callista gordonii (S. Moore) Kuntze 1891; Callista macrophylla (A. Rich.) Kuntze 1891; Callista veitchiana (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium brachythecum F Mueller & Krzl. 1894; Dendrobium ferox Hassk. 1835; Dendrobium gordoni S. Moore Ex Baker 1883; Dendrobium lucae F. Mueller 1910; Dendrobium macrophyllum var. huttonii H.J.Veitch 1873; Dendrobium macrophyllum var. subvelutinum J.J.Sm. 1911; Dendrobium macrophyllum var. ternatense (J.J.Sm.) P.O'Byrne & J.J.Wood 2010; Dendrobium macrophyllum var. veitchianum (Lindl.) Hook.f. 1867; Dendrobium musciferum Schlechter 1912; Dendrobium palawense Schlechter 1914; Dendrobium psyche Krzl. 1910; Dendrobium sarcostemma Teijsm. & Binn 1866; Dendrobium sarcostemma Teijsm. & Binn. 1830; Dendrobium ternatense J.J.Sm. 1909; Dendrobium tetrodon var. vanvuurenii J.J.Sm. 1920; Dendrobium tomohonense Krzl. 1910; Dendrobium veitchianum Lindley 1847; Latourea macrophylla ( A.Rich.) F.G.Brieger 1981; Latourea muscifera ( Schltr. ) F.G.Brieger 1981; Latourorchis macrophylla [A.Rich.] Breiger 1981; Latourorchis muscifera (Schltr.) F.G.Brieger 1981; Sayeria macrophylla (A. Rich.) Rauschert 1983; Sayeria muscifera (Schltr.) Rauschert 1983; Sayeria palawensis (Schltr.) Rauschert 1983; Sayeria psyche (Kraenzl.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002


Dendrobium polysema Schlechter 1906 SECTION Latouria is a small to large sized, hot to cool growing epiphyte found in eastern Papua New Guinea at 1,200-1,900m, and in the Solomon Islands, Bougainville Island, the Santa Cruz Islands, and Vanuatu at 150-750m. This mist forest species is found on mossy tree trunks and main branches. Erect, 3-5 noded yellow stems carry 2 elliptical-oblong, erect to spreading leaves. Flowering in autumn through late winter and early spring, flowers are borne on erect, densely flowered racemes that arise from the apex of a cane. The open, flattened heavy substance flowers are long lasting with hairy backs to petals and sepals. Unlike some others in this Section, the flowers are clearly separated rather than tightly bunched.


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Dendrobium polysema is closely allied to the widespread Dendrobium macrophyllum but can be readily distinguished by its two-leaved pseudobulbs, broader elliptic leaves and the tapering side-lobes and the heavily spotted midlobe of the lip. The flowers open more widely with the petals often reflexed and the midlobe deflexed giving the flower a flat appearance.

Dendrobium punamense Schltr.1905 SECTION Latouria can be found in Papua New Guinea, and Manus, New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville and Guadalcanal Islands. This unusual member of the Latouria section is a miniature sized; warm growing epiphyte or occasional lithophyte that is found in deep shade on the trunks and branches of moss covered rainforest trees at 25 to 500m. It has erect to pendulous, 3-6 noded; green to olive green stems carrying 2, apical, oblong-lanceolate, basally twisted leaves. Flowering in winter, the relatively short inflorescence carries few flowers. Dendrobium punamense is most closely allied to Dendrobium euryanthum; sterile specimens of the two being indistinguishable. However, it differs in flower colour and in lip shape, the side-lobes being as long as the midlobe.
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Its common name is the Punam Dendrobium. Synonyms in use are Dendrobium waterhousei Carr 1934; Sayeria punamensis (Schltr.) Rauschert 1983

 

Dendrobium rhodostictum F. Muell. & Kraenzl. 1894 SECTION Latouria is found from eastern Papua New Guinea to Bougainville Island as a warm to cool growing epiphyte on montane rainforest Castanopsis and Nothofagus trees or as a terrestrial on steep, wet moss covered slopes at 800-1,200m. A small to medium sized species, it has basally fusiform to apically swollen, yellow, 3-5 5 noded stems with 2-4, dark green, persistent, leathery leaves. Flowering in autumn and spring, very short racemes carry 3-8 waxy, fragrant flowers. This species is similar to Dendrobium eximium, but differs in the lack of hairs on the exterior of the sepals. The defining characteristic for Dendrobium rhodostictum is the broad lip, which is three-lobed, apiculate, difficult to flatten and that has rose-purple spots outside on the lateral margins and similar coloured stripes on the inside of the lip, both which can be seen through the reverse side. Specimens collected from New Britain have somewhat larger flowers with a more markedly three-lobed lip than those from New Guinea or Bougainville, and have pseudobulbs which are somewhat swollen along their entire length. These differences might warrant recognition at sub-species level.

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Its common name is the Red-Spotted Dendrobium Synonyms in use are Dendrobium madonnae Rolfe 1903 and Sayeria rhodosticta (F. Muell. & Kraenzl.) Rauschert 1983.


Dendrobium shiraishii T.Yukawa & M.Nishida 1992 SECTION Latouria can be found in western Papua New Guinea as a warm to cool growing epiphyte, terrestrial or lithophyte in lower montane forests at 500-1,500m. It has greenish brown, clustered, grooved stems that are apically swollen carrying, 2-4 leathery, dark green, elliptic-oblong leaves. While I did not find published in situ flowering period data, it is likely to be autumn. Terminal racemose inflorescences to 40 cm long carry several long-lasting, wide open flowers.
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Dendrobium shiraishii is closely related to Dendrobium macrophyllum, from which it differs in the striking colour pattern and in the callus which is almost forked at the apex. Only recently described and said to be discovered by Shigeru Shiraishi, this species was known to past Dutch residents of New Guinea. A photograph of a plant collected by Stüber was published in 1935 in the journal De Orchidee 4: 287. More recently, in 1973 van Bodegom illustrated and informally described this species as a nameless variety of Dendrobium macrophyllum, recommending that it be regarded as a new species. It differs from Dendrobium macrophyllum as it has somewhat thicker, much darker stems, the inflorescence that arises from the apex of the stem. While some authors regard it as a natural hybrid, it has been accepted as a valid species by the RHS. Its common name is Shiraishi's Dendrobium named after its finder, a Japanese orchid enthusiast and author.


Dendrobium spectabile (Blume) Miq. 1859 SECTION Latouria is the type species for the Section, and is probably the best known Latouria Dendrobium. Found in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Dendrobium spectabile is a spectacular but somewhat alien-looking medium to large sized, hot growing epiphyte living in primary rainforests, lowland swampy forest, mangroves, lower montane forest and moss forests, or on cultivated Coconut, Casuarina and rain trees (Samanea saman) in urban areas at 300-2,000m although most often found from 300-500m. It can also be found as an occasional lithophyte on rocks and as a terrestrial on ridge tops where it can be found growing on the surface of the ground in thick moss and peat. While this species survives exposure to high light and hot temperatures at lower elevations, it is generally more abundant and vigorous in cool, shady locations at higher elevations.


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Semi globose (shaped like half a sphere) at the base, the up to 8 noded stems carry 5 apex, lanceolate to ovate, coriaceous, obtuse leaves. This species flowers in winter and early spring on axillary 20- 40cm few to many flowered racemes with minute, oblong bracts arising near the apex of leafed mature canes.
An albinistic form Dendrobium spectabile fma aureum is also known.
Dendrobium spectabile is allied to Dendrobium alexandrae but is easily recognised by the very undulate flower segments and the longer lanceolate lip midlobe which is striped with purple rather than being spotted. Its common name is the Grand Dendrobium.
Synonyms in use are Callista spectabilis (Blume) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium spectabile fma. aurea Christenson 2006; Dendrobium tigrinum Rolfe ex Hemsl. 1891; Latourea spectabilis Blume 1849; Latourorchis spectabile [Bl.] Breiger 1981; Sayeria spectabilis (Blume) Rauschert 1983.

 

Dendrobium tapiniense T.M. Reeve 1980 SECTION Latouria is a medium to large sized, cool growing epiphyte found in a restricted area of the central highlands of Papua New Guinea at 1,500 to 2,000m. This species can be found high in the branches of rainforest trees in a habitat of cool nights, warm days, constant rainfall and high humidity. It has stocky, furrowed, basally tapered noded stems carrying 2, elliptic, apical leaves. Flowering occurs on racemes that arise from the apex of the cane in mid-summer. The 10-15cm, several flowered inflorescences carry longlasting, stiff, fleshy flowers.


 

 

 

 

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Dendrobium tapiniense is a most distinctive species which, in many ways, resembles some of the species with hairy flowers such as Dendrobium macrophyllum A.Rich. and Dendrobium finisterrae Schltr. However, its flowers are entirely glabrous (smooth or devoid of hairs), and it is readily recognised by its heavily spotted sepals and petals, and by its lip which has a distinctive callus and very undulate margins. Its common name is the Tapini Dendrobium after a town in Papua New Guinea.

 

 

Dendrobium montis-yulei Kraenzl (previously Dendrobium terrestre J.J.Sm. 1911) SECTION Latouria can be found in Papua New Guinea and the Bismark archipelago as a small to medium sized, cool to cold growing terrestrial or epiphyte in mossy montane forests and peat bogs at 1,800-2,800m. Its habitat has bright light, high air movement and humidity year round. Clustered terete stems, 9-14 noded below the leaves that enveloped in youth by compressed sheaths carry up to 7 apical, well-spaced, shortly petiolate leaves and flower in winter, spring and autumn on terminal or sub terminal erect to spreading inflorescences carrying up to 20 variable colour ranging from orange through yellow and occasionally white flowers with distinctive floral bracts. Wood suggests along with Cribb [1983] and Szalettchko that this species is synonymous with Dendrobium montis-yulei.


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Its common name and meaning is the Terrestrial Dendrobium. Synonyms in use are Dendrobium magnificum Schltr.; Dendrobium terrestre J.J.Sm., Bull.; Dendrobium terrestre var. sublobatum J.J.Sm.; Dendrobium rhomboglossum var. latipetalum J.J.Sm.; Sayeria terrestris (J.J.Sm.)
The species in Section Latouria are primarily found in New Guinea, and many grow at high altitude. These habitats range from warm through intermediate to cool generally depending on their elevation. Many of these species require year-round watering and high humidity to maintain vigorous growth. Regular application of fertiliser when temperatures permit will encourage growth and flowering. Culture can be pots or slab mounts (provided humidity can be maintained during hot dry summer conditions), however plants should not be allowed to dry out for long periods. Heavy watering is recommended to minimise salt build-up and consequent root loss. The majority of species in this section are bright light orchids, although additional shade may be required during summer months.


The next Section to be covered is Phalaenanthe. While only a small number of species, the members of this Section have been widely used in hybridisation to produce full-shaped cut flower and exhibition Dendrobium orchids. While there is some disagreement between taxonomists as the placement of Dendrobium williamsianum in this Section, for the time being I will include it. Dendrobium bigibbum is the type species and has been the most widely used in hybridising.

 


Dendrobium affine [Decais.] Steudel 1840 SECTION Phalaenanthe is found in Papua New Guinea, and Timor, Seram and Tanimbar Islands and the Northern Territory as a small to medium sized, hot growing epiphyte from sea level to 300m in high light, moist locations adjacent to lagoons, swamps and rainforests to the fringes with very dry habitats. It has stout, tapered to conical pseudobulbs carrying from 2-10 leathery, ovate-lanceolate to oblong leaves that are often decurved. Flowering in autumn through to spring on both leafed and leafless pseudobulbs, the slender racemose inflorescences up to 50cm in length carry successively opening long-lasting flowers that all face the same direction. Several authors treat Dendrobium dicuphum as synonymous with Dendrobium affine, a classification that is consistent with the Kew Plant Science on-line listing. The alba form is more commonly seen in cultivation, with line bred cultivars displaying broader petals and sepals more popular than the unimproved species.

 

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Its common name is the Similar Dendrobium. Synonyms in use are Callista affinis (Decne.) Kuntze 1891; Callista leucophota (Rchb.f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium bigibbum Mueller not Lindley; Dendrobium leucolophotum Rchb.f. 1882; Dendrobium leucophotum Rchb.f. 1882; Dendrobium urvillei Finet ? *Onychium afine Decaisne 1836; Vappodes affinis (Decne.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002.

 

Dendrobium bigibbum Lindley 1852 SECTION Phalaenanthe. This horticulturally most important Dendrobium is the type species for the Section, and is found in Queensland and Papua and New Guinea. It is a medium to large sized, hot growing epiphyte or lithophyte that can be found in semi-arid habitats at sea level to 400m where it grows in high light. Although it is found in tropical regions, often with high summer rainfall, it is not a rainforest species but grows in exposed situations, usually attached to tree trunks such as paperbark melaleucas in savannah woodland or in vine thickets. Habitat destruction and indiscriminate harvesting by commercial plant collectors have made this species rare or extinct in some places within its range, especially in the south. The vegetative appearance of this species is highly variable but generally it has cylindrical, narrow, slightly tapering towards both ends, green or reddish purple canes carrying 3-12, ovate or lanceolate, acute leaves. Flowering from mid-summer through winter, 2-20, large, deep to pale lilac long lasting flowers are borne on axillary arching racemes that arise from nodes near the apex of both leafed and leafless canes. Albinistic forms are common, and enthusiasts have a wide variety of colours and sizes to choose from commercially available cultivars.


 

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Plants of Dendrobium bigibbum were first collected by Dr Thomson on Mount Adolphus, a small island about 18 km north-east of Cape York. These plants were sent to a nursery in London, and in 1852 the species was described and named by the British botanist, John Lindley (1799-1865). However, it appears that it does not naturally occur near Cooktown, which is in the distribution area of the species on the Endeavour River. Dendrobium phalaenopsis (a synonym) was described by Robert FitzGerald, Surveyor General of New South Wales in 1880. In his description he included the words "It was obtained near Cooktown, Queensland". In December of the same year he published a beautiful colour plate of Dendrobium phalaenopsis in 'Australian Orchids' with the words "obtained in northern Queensland", which clearly illustrates the species known as the Cooktown Orchid.

 


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Its common name is the Cooktown Orchid, but it is also known as the two-Humped Dendrobium and the Mauve Butterfly Orchid. It is the floral emblem of Queensland.
Many synonyms exist, with a number in regular usage including Callista bigibba [Lindley]Kuntze 1891; Callista phalaenopsis (Fitzg.) Kuntze 1891; Callista sumneri [ F. Muell.] Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium bigibbum fma. compactum (C.T.White) G.Piper 1950; Dendrobium bigibbum fma. phalaenopsis (Fitzg.) St.Cloud 1956; Dendrobium bigibbum fma. superbium G.Piper 1950; Dendrobium bigibbum subvar. candidum [Rchb.f.] Veitch 1888; Dendrobium bigibbum subvar. compactum (C.T.White) St.Cloud 1956; Dendrobium bigibbum subvar. superbum (Rchb.f.) H.J.Veitch 1887; Dendrobium bigibbum var. albopurpuratum auct. 1895; Dendrobium bigibbum var. album F.M.Bailey 1902; Dendrobium bigibbum var. candidum Rchb.f. 1878; Dendrobium bigibbum var. macranthum F.M.Bailey 1895; Dendrobium bigibbum var. phalaenopsis (Fitzg.) F.M.Bailey 1883; Dendrobium bigibbum var. sumneri [F. Mueller]F.M.Bailey 1883; Dendrobium bigibbum var. superbum Rchb.f. 1878; Dendrobium lithocola D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. 1989; Dendrobium phalaenopsis Fitzg. 1880; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. albopurpureum auct 1895; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. album B.S.Williams 1894; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. album auct. 1895; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. chamberlainianum auct. 1894; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. compactum C.T.White 1941; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. dellense B.S.Williams 1894; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. highburyense auct. 1894; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. hololeuca auct. 1895; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. lindeniae auct. 1902; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. rothschildianum Kraenzl. 1892; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. rubescens Nash 1914; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroderianum Rolfe 1891; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroederianum W.Watson 1891; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. splendens auct. 1906; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. statterianum auct. 1891; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. thundersleyense auct. 1905; Dendrobium sumneri F. Mueller 1867; Vappodes bigibba (Lindl.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002; Vappodes lithocola (D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002; Vappodes phalaenopsis (Fitzg.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002.

 

Dendrobium striaenopsis M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 1989 SECTION Phalaenanthe can be found on the island of Laret in the Tanimbar Group (Lesser Sunda Islands) southwest of Irian Jaya on limestone cliffs and trees at low elevations as a large size, hot growing epiphyte or lithophyte. Long slender canes carry a few persistent leaves towards to upper quarter of the stem. This species flowers in autumn on arching, many flowered inflorescences arising from apical nodes along the cane. Flower colour is variable from deep purple through purple to white as well as bicoloured flowers. This species seems to be closely related to the Torres Strait form of Dendrobium bigibbum.


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Its common name is the Striate Butterfly Dendrobium, and synonyms in use are Dendrobium bigibbum subsp. laratensis Clemesha 1978; Dendrobium bigibbum var. albomarginatum Linden 1891; Dendrobium bigibbum var. albopurpuratum auct. 1895; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroderianum Rolfe 1891; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroederianum Rchb.f. ex W.Watson 1891; Vappodes striaenopsis (M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002.


Dendrobium x superbiens Rchb.f. 1876 SECTION Phalaenanthe can be found in Queensland as a natural hybrid between Dendrobium bigibbum and Dendrobium discolour. It grows as an epiphyte in dry vine forests or a lithophyte on rock faces, often close to the ocean as a giant sized, warm growing species. Elongate, stems carry leaves on the upper half, and flower in in late winter and spring on erect to arching many flowered inflorescences carrying long lasting, predominantly pink flowers.

 


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Its common name is the Really Nice Dendrobium, and synonyms in current use are Callista x fitzgeraldii (F.Muell.) Kuntze 1891; Callista x superbiens (Rchb.f.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium bigibbum fma. venosum (F.M.Bailey) F.M.Bailey 1902; Dendrobium bigibbum var. albomarginatum F.M.Bailey 1891; Dendrobium bigibbum var. georgei C.T.White 1936; Dendrobium bigibbum var. superbiens (Rchb.f.) F.M.Bailey 1883; Dendrobium bigibbum var. venosum F.M.Bailey 1890; Dendrobium x brandtiae Kraenzl. 1906; Dendrobium x fitzgeraldii F.Muell. 1884; Dendrobium x goldiei Rchb.f. 1878;
Dendrobium x goldiei var. karthausianum Rolfe 1910; Dendrobium x gommeri Van Geert 1879; Dendrobium x lavarackianum M.A.Clem. 1989; x Vappaculum lavarackianum (M.A.Clem.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002; x Vappaculum superbiens (Rchb.f.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002


Dendrobium williamsianum Rchb. f. 1878 SECTION Phalaenanthe can be found in the hot dry savannah, low to 300m elevation Papua and New Guinea habitat as medium to giant sized, hot growing epiphyte on small trees or high in the canopy of larger trees. The environment in which this species grows can go without rain for up to 6 months with the only moisture coming from dew. It has slender canes that carry many, oblong, persistent, two-ranked pale green leaves. Predominantly flowering in spring, but throughout the year, fragrant, waxy, longlasting flowers are borne on long arching, few to several flowered inflorescences arising from the nodes near or at the apex of the mature leafed canes. Dendrobium williamsianum is a very distinctive relative of the famous Dendrobium bigibbum, and is easily recognised by the high lamellae on the lip. The flowers are held almost horizontally.

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