Accepted name: Dendrochilum haslamii Ames, Orchidaceae 6: 53 (1920).

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Cruciformia.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


2400-3100 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been collected from Mount Kinabalu at various locations, often along the summit trail. The habitat is described by Jeffrey Wood as “upper montane forest, frequently on ultramafic substrate; growing low down on trunks and branches, often in exposed sites; recorded as epiphytic on Leptospermum recurvum” (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on an abbreviated rhizome that grows to 8cm long. The pseudobulbs are caespitose and shaped subfusiform or ovoid. The pseudobulbs measure 0.5-2cm long and 0.2-0.4cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 3-4 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres that slowly disintegrate as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 2-7mm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear-ligulate to linear-lanceolate and have obtuse apices that are minutely apiculate. The leaf blades measure 2.5-6cm long and 0.2-0.6cm wide. There are 3 distinct nerves on the blade.


The leaves contain crystalline calcium oxalate bodies within their leaves. The bodies are also present in related species as well.


The Inflorescence


The peduncle is suberect to curved and measures 1.2-5cm long. The rachis is arching and measures 3-7cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 1.8-2.5mm apart. The rachis and peduncle are a dull red colour. There is 1 or no or non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


Jeffrey Wood wrote that between 15 and 30 flowers grow on an inflorescence (Wood 2001). The flower colour is variable and the following colours have been described; sepals and petals, creamy yellow, yellowish green or yellow. The labellum is bright brown or brownish orange. The column is olive-brown. The stelidia are pale brown with yellowish-brown tips or pale creamy green (Wood 2001). The sepals and petals are strongly concave. The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong-ovate and has an obtuse or subacute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 1.5-1.75mm long and 1-1.1mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is one veined. The lateral sepals are shaped oblong-ovate and have obtuse or subacute apices. The lateral sepals measure 1.5-1.75mm long and 1-1.1mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are one veined. The petals are shaped ovate to oblong-ovate and have obtuse to subacute apices. The petals measure 1.5mm long and 1mm wide. The petals are directed forward, have entire margins and are one veined. The labellum is 4-lobed; the side lobes are obscure. The labellum measures 2mm long and 1.5mm wide below its middle. The side lobes are minute, rounded and undulate. The mid-lobe expands into ovate to oblong shaped side lobules that are falcate; there is a tiny mucro in between the side lobules. The margins on the labellum are entire. There is a U-shaped callus that extends the length of the disc and terminates at the mucro between the side lobules of the mid-lobe. The column measures 1mm long and has no foot. The apical hood is obtuse and has an entire margin. The stelidia grow from the base of the column and are equal in length to the apical hood. The stelidia are shaped linear with obtuse apices and measure 1-1.1mm long.


Herbarium Specimens






I could not locate the specimen.








Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen 56499.000

Specimen K000078194

Specimen 61407.000




National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0269599

Specimen L0269600

Specimen L0269601

Specimen L0322533

Specimen L0322534

Specimen L0322535















Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during March and from July to December.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum haslamii var. quadrilobum


Other Information


Ames wrote that this species is similar to Dendrochilum gibbsiae, Dendrochilum kinabuluense and Dendrochilum quinquelobum both of the later plants now considered synonyms of Dendrochilum gibbsiae. Ames wrote that the linear leaves and labellum differ on D. haslamii (Ames 1920).


Jeffrey Wood wrote that this species forms large clusters of pseudobulbs sometimes numbering over 50 (Wood 1997).


The epithet refers to A.G Haslam who collected the type specimen.


This species differs from var quadrilobum by its obscure side lobes; the side lobes on var quadrilobum are distinct. The side lobules of the mid-lobe are falcate and less rounded.




AMES, Oakes. 1920, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 6 The Orchids of Mount Kinabalu British North Borneo, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


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. 14 February 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 14 February 2009.