Accepted name: Dendrochilum gracilipes Carr, Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 8: 81 (1935)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.






Origin in the Wild


Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak


Elevation in the Wild


900-1600 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been collected in Brunei along the Temburong River on Mount Pagon.


Within Sabah this plant has been collected in the Sipitang District on the ridge between Maga River and Malabid River headwaters.


In Sarawak this plant has been collected in the Marudi District in the Tama Abu Range on Mount Temabok, on Mount Mulu, Mount Dulit and in the Kapit District within the northern Hose Mountains at the base of the ridge leading to Bukit Batu.


Jeffrey Wood (2001) described the habitat as montane elfin forest c25 meters high on a narrow sandstone ridge, submontane and mossy forest. There is a record of this species growing as a terrestrial amongst moss in sand forest. As an epiphyte this species can be found growing low down on trees.


The Plants Description


The rhizome branches and can grow between 8 and 10cm long. The pseudobulbs are either crowded or are spaced 2.5cm apart along the rhizome. The pseudobulbs are shaped narrowly cylindrical. The pseudobulbs measure 13-16cm long and 0.3-0.5cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs narrow towards their apices. The pseudobulbs are covered by 3-4 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 1.0-3.5cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly elliptic, elliptic or oblanceolate and have obtuse apices. The leaf blades measure 16-21cm long and 1.2-3cm wide. The leaves are thin textured, coriaceous and have 7 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is erect and measures 8.5-14cm long. The rachis measures 14-17cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 3-6mm apart. There is 1 non-floriferous bract at the base of the rachis. The flowers mostly all open together (Wood 2001).


The Flowers


The flowers are pale greenish, pale yellow greenish, greenish orange or cream, the labellum is pale ochre (Wood 2001). The sepals and petals spread widely and have tiny trichomes at their base. The dorsal sepal is shaped narrowly elliptic and has a subacute or acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 5.8-7mm long and 1.5-2mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped narrowly ovate-elliptic, slightly oblique and have acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 6.5-7mm long and 1.8-2mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are three veined. The petals are shaped narrowly elliptic or narrowly oblong-elliptic and have shortly acuminate apices. The petals measure 6.5-7mm long and 1.5-1.8mm wide. The petals have entire margins and are three veined. The labellum is 3-veined, obscurely 3-lobed, recurved above the base, and measures 5.0-5.1mm long. The side lobes are shaped triangular are tooth like and have erose margins. The mid-lobe is papillose, shaped ovate or spathulate-elliptic and has an obtuse or subacute apex. The margins of the mid-lobe sometimes decurve and are minutely erose. There are 2 keels that join at the base of the hypochile and terminate at the base of the mid-lobe, the median nerve is elevated. The column is curved and measures 3-3.5mm long. The column foot is prominent. The apical hood is shaped oblong and has an obtuse or subacute apex, its margin is entire. The stelidia grow upwards from the above the base of the column and are almost equal to the column apex. The stelidia are shaped linear-ligulate and has obtuse or subacute apices, the stelidia measure 2-2.1mm long.


Herbarium Specimens











Specimen 98762 (photo) (paratype)


Royal Botanic Garden Kew (K)


Specimen 21619.000 (unknown type material)

Specimen K000079108 (photo)



Other herbarium specimens




Royal Herbarium Specimen Kew (K)


Specimen 61441.000

Specimen 24052.000

Specimen 42129.000

Specimen 60692.000

Specimen 60693.000




National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0322502

Specimen L0322503

Specimen L0322504












The flowers are either unscented, slightly scented or have a strong aniseed scent.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during March, April, June, August, September, November and December. The majority of plants collected in Sarawak have been during September.




I do not think this species is in general cultivation. There is at least one plant in the National Herbarium in the Netherlands.


Similar Species


The long pencil-like pseudobulbs of this species make it distinct.


Other Information


The epithet refers to the thin and slender pseudobulbs.


Reference -


BEAMAN, Teofila, WOOD, Jeffrey, BEAMAN, Reed, BEAMAN, John. 2001, Orchids of Sarawak, Natural History Publications Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


WOOD, Jeffrey. Dendrochilum of Borneo, 2001. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Malaysia.


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 26 May 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 26 May 2009.