Accepted name: Dendrochilum kamborangense Ames, Orchidaceae 6: 57 (1920)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


1500-2900 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been collected from Mount Tambuyukon and Mount Kinabalu. On Mount Kinabalu it has been found at the Mesilau Cave, along the summit trail, the Marai Parai Spur, Paka-paka Cave and Kemburongoh.


The habitat is described as upper montane mossy forest, often in exposed places, on ridge tops and on ultramafic substrate (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster together on a branching rhizome that can measure up to 5cm long. The pseudobulbs are shaped oblong-ovoid or subcylindrical and measure 1.0-4.0cm long and 0.6-1.5cm in diameter. Ames described the pseudobulbs as yellowish (Ames 1920). 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 1.5-7.5cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear to narrowly-elliptic and have obtuse to subacute apices. The leaf blades measure 16.0-22.0cm long and 0.9-1.6cm wide. The leaves are thin-textured and have 5-7 distinct nerves along their length.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and appears when the leaves have almost fully expanded. The peduncle is gently curved and measures 13.0-26.0cm long. The rachis is gently curved and measures 12.0-18.0cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 2.5-4.0mm apart. There are 1-2 non floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


Ames described the flowers as yellow with a brown labellum (Ames 1920). The sepals and petals are lemon yellow, saffron-yellow, yellowish-green or creamy green. The labellum is either yellowish green at its base with the remainder brown and sometimes with paler brown, yellow or green margins and a pale yellow median line on its proximal half or yellow with orange to ochre side lobes. The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong-elliptic and has an acute apex that is carinate.  The dorsal sepal measures 6.0-6.1mm long and 2.4-2.5mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped ovate-elliptic and have acute apices that are carinate. The lateral sepals measure 5.5-6.0mm long and 2.2-2.5mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped oblong-elliptic to elliptic and have acute apices. The petals measure 5.3-6.0mm long and 2.2-2.5mm wide. The petals are three veined and have minutely denticulate margins. The labellum is stipitate to the column foot by a short claw, three nerved and 3-lobed. The labellum measures 4.0-5.0mm long and 2.0-2.1mm wide. The side lobes are erect, shaped semi-elliptic and auriculate. The side lobes have irregularly serrate margins. The mid-lobe is shaped broadly trullate to rotundate and has an acute apex. The margins of the mid-lobe are minutely erose. There are two keels than terminate half way along the mid-lobe. The keels are joined at the base of the labellum by a transverse ridge. There is an elevated median nerve that joins the keels basally to form an M shape. The column is gently incurved and measures 2.0-3.0mm long. The column foot is prominent. The apical hood is elongated, shaped oblong to subquadrate and has a tridentate, erose or denticulate apex. The stelidia grow upwards from the middle of the column and do not reach the column apex. The stelidia are shaped narrowly triangular and have obtuse apices. The stelidia measure 0.7-0.8mm long.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 98770 (photo)




New York Botanical Garden (NY)


Specimen 8739 (photo)


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen K000079116 (photo)








Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen 48354.000

Specimen 61502.000


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0269622

Specimen L0269623

Specimen L0269624

Specimen L0269611

Specimen L0269625

Specimen L0269626
























Specimen 98771 (photo) (paratype)







The flowers are either scented or unscented.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during January, April and May and from July to December.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum trusmadiense (see this page for differences)

Dendrochilum jiewhoei (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum lacinilobum (see this page for the differences)


Other Information


Ames wrote that the showy flowers had the same aspect as Dendrochilum cornutum.


Jeffrey Wood wrote that this species is one of the largest flowered Dendrochilum at the elevation it has been found in (Wood 2001). This is a commonly encountered orchid on Mount Kinabalu.


This species is named after the type locality it was collected, Kamborangah on Mount Kinabalu.




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. 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.