Accepted name: Dendrochilum imbricatum Ames, Orchidaceae 6: 51 (1920)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.

The text is below the photos
This photo was taken by Todd Barkman and is used with permission.
This is a drawing by Oakes Ames
This photo was taken by the late Jim Comber and bequeathed to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. The photo is reproduced with permission from the Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.
This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.
This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.





Origin in the Wild


Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak


Elevation in the Wild


600-2400 metres


Habitat in the Wild


Clemens collected the type specimen on Mount Kinabalu in November 1915.


Within Kalimantan this species has been collected from between Long Bawan and Panado.


Within Sabah this species has been collected on Mount Kinabalu along the Liwagu River, Tenompok, Penibukan and the Mamut River. This plant has also been collected in the Sipitang District along the Long Pa Sia to Long Samado Trail.


Within Sarawak this species has been collected in the Limbang District along the Pa Mario River and on Mount Murud.


Jeffrey wood described the habitat as "hill forest; lower montane forest; kerangas forest; dry, rather low and open forest on steep ridges, with small open patches of grasses and Gleichenia spp" (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster together on a short rhizome, the rhizome can grow to 6cm long. The pseudobulbs are shaped narrowly pyriform or cylindrical and measure 4.5-8.0cm long and 0.5-1.5mm wide. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 7.0-18.0cm long. The leaf blades are shaped oblong-elliptic to elliptic and have acute to acuminate apices. The leaf blades measure 23.0-52.0cm long and 3.8-6.0cm wide. The leaves are coriaceous and have 7-9 nerves along their length.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and appears from nearly fully expanded leaves. The peduncle is arching and measures 26.0-56.0cm long. The rachis is quadrangular is cross section, pendent and measures 38.0-50.0cm long. There are 4-5 non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis. The floral bracts push the flowers downwards and are equal to or exceed the length of the flower.


The Flowers


The sepals and petals are pale green or yellowish green, the side lobes of the labellum are pale green or yellowish with chocolate brown coloured margins. The mid-lobe of the labellum is cream with a chocolate brown coloured basal patch, the keels are chocolate brown (Wood 2001). The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong-elliptic and has an acute apex that is slightly carinate. The dorsal sepal measures 7.0-9.0mm long and 2.9-3.0mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped oblong-elliptic and have acute apices that are slightly carinate. The lateral sepals measure 8.0-9.0mm long and 3.0mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped oblong or elliptic and have acute apices. The petals measure 8.0-8.5mm long and 2.8mm wide. The petals are three veined and have entire margins. The labellum is not or barely stipitate to the column by a short claw, porrect and 3-lobed. There are three prominent veins on the labellum. The labellum measures 4.0-4.1mm long and 2.4-2.5mm wide. The side lobes are shaped triangular and have acute apices. The mid-lobe is shaped suborbicular to spathulate and has a rounded apex sometimes obscurely apiculate. The labellum margins are entire. There are two keels that are not joined at the base. The keels terminate just beyond the base of the labellum. The median nerve is slightly elevated. The column is somewhat papillose basally and measures 3.0-3.2mm long. The column foot is short. The apical hood is elongated into a rounded shaped apex with an obscurely retuse or irregularly obtusely 3-lobed margin. The stelidia grow upwards from the middle of the column and are shorter than the column apex. The stelidia measure 1.0mm long and are shaped subulate.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 98766 (photo)




New York Botanical Garden (NY)


Specimen 39520 (photo)


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen K000079113 (photo)








Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen 29047.557

Specimen 61501.000


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0269609

Specimen L0269610

Specimen L0269612

Specimen L0269613

Specimen L0269614








I could not locate the specimen







Yes, a strong and sweet scent.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during July, August, October, November and December.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum latifolium

Dendrochilum magnum

Dendrochilum longifolium


Other Information


Ames wrote that this species is similar to Dendrochilum longifolium and Dendrochilum dewindtianum but is distinct by its bracts that nearly conceal the flowers. Ames also wrote that the flower structure was different. Ames also compared this plant to Dendrochilum oxylobum.


This species is distinguished by other Bornean species by the large bracts that push the flowers downwards.


The epithet refers to the overlapping nature of the floral bracts.


Reference -


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