Accepted name: Dendrochilum grandiflorum (Ridl.) J.J.Sm., Recueil Trav. Bot. Néerl. 1: 66 (1904).

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Cruciformia.




Platyclinis grandiflora Ridl., Trans. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 4: 233 (1894).

Acoridium grandiflorum (Ridl.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).


Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


900-3800 metres and most commonly found between 2500-3100 metres.


Habitat in the Wild


This species has so far only been recorded from Mount Kinabalu where it is commonly encountered and widespread at higher elevations. If climbing the summit trail you will most likely see this species.


Jeffrey Wood wrote that this species is found growing in upper montane forest on ultramafic substrate, in Leptospermum recurvum scrub as a terrestrial. This plant has been found growing in thick moss, on rotting tree stumps and rocky stream banks (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on a short rhizome. The rhizome can reach a length of 10cm; the pseudobulbs can be spaced up to 1.5cm apart along it. The pseudobulbs are shaped narrowly cylindrical or terete. The pseudobulbs measure 2.5-6cm long and 0.4-0.6cm in diameter. 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 1-3cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly elliptic to elliptic and have acute apices, apiculate in their centres. The leaf blades measure 6-18cm long and 1.3-2.5cm wide. There are 5 distinct nerves on the blade.


The Inflorescence


The peduncle is suberect and measures 7-16cm long. The rachis is arching to pendent and measures 8-15cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 4-7mm apart. There is 1 non-floriferous bract at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers are coloured salmon pink, pinkish-brown or yellow. The labellum is light pink with darker coloured keels. The column is dark olive and has a yellow rostellum and stelidia. The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong-elliptic and has an acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 7-7.75mm long and 2.5-2.6mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin, is minutely papillose at its base and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped obliquely ovate-elliptic and have acute apices. The lateral sepals measure 6.9-7mm long and 2.6-2.8mm wide. The laterals sepals have entire margins, are minutely papillose at their bases and are three veined. The petals are shaped oblong-elliptic and have acute apices. The petals measure 5.5-6.5mm long and 2mm wide. The petals have entire margins, are minutely papillose at their bases and are three veined. The labellum is tridentate and measures 5mm long and 5-5.1mm at its widest point. The side lobes are flat and shaped triangular with acute apices. The mid lobe is shaped cuspidate and has an acute apex. The margins on the labellum are entire. There is an M shaped callus at the centre of the hypochile. From the middle of the callus are 2 keels which are wing like and terminate close to the base of the mid-lobe. The column is slightly narrowed at its centre and measures 2.8-3mm long. There is no column foot. The apical hood is short, shaped ovate and has a rounded apex that has entire margins. The stelidia grow from the base of the column and do not exceed the column apex. The stelidia are shaped narrowly-linear and have obtuse apices that are hooked.


Herbarium Specimens




Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen K000078192 (photo)






Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic gardens Kew (K)


Specimen K000078193 (photo)

Specimen 61408.000

Specimen 61505.000

Specimen 49760.000










National Herbarium Netherlands Leiden (L)


Specimen L0322514

Specimen L0322515

Specimen L0322516

Specimen L0322517

Specimen L0322518

Specimen L0322519

Specimen L0322520

Specimen L0322521

Specimen L0322522

Specimen L0322523

Specimen L0322524

Specimen L0322525

Specimen L0322526

Specimen L0322527

Specimen L0322528












The flowers are reported to have a musky, fungus type scent. However, most flowers are generally unscented.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during every month except for April.




I do not think this species is in cultivation, at least outside of a herbarium.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum hosei (see this page for the differences)


Other Information


This species is commonly encountered along the summit trail on Mount Kinabalu. This species is often found growing as a terrestrial above 2400 metres (Wood 1997).


The epithet refers to the large flowers.




WOOD, Jeffrey. 1997, Orchids of Borneo volume 3. The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 08 January 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 08 January 2009.