Accepted name: Dendrochilum alpinum Carr, Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 8: 235 (1935)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Eurybrachium.


Left, this photo was taken by Anthony Lamb and is reproduced on this website with permission by Jeffrey Wood. ©
Right, this photo was taken by Thilo Nordhausen and is reproduced on this website with permission by the Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium of Jany Renz.
Left, this photo is the copyright of Thilo Nordhausen and courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.
Right, this photo is the copyright of Thilo Nordhausen and courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.
Left, this photo is the copyright of Thilo Nordhausen and courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


2400-3700 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species is endemic to Mount Kinabalu. Collections have been made below Sayat Sayat, above Panar Laban, Gurulau Spur and the summit area.


Jeffrey Wood described the habitat as upper montane forest. Carr's description and the isotypes state that this species was found on the sides of granite rocks under the shelter of stunted trees (Carr 1935). Jeffrey Wood wrote that this species is abundant above 3200 metres (Wood 2003).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on a shortly creeping rhizome that can grow to 5m long. The pseudobulbs are spaced 1cm apart on the rhizome. The pseudobulbs are coloured golden yellow, orange or red and are shaped ovoid and minutely rugulose. The pseudobulbs measure 1.8-2.7cm long and 0.8-1cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 3 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into non-persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 0.8-3cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly-elliptic with acute apices. The leaves narrow from their middle to their conduplicate apex. The leaf blades measure 7-14.5cm long and 0.7-1.5cm wide. The leaves have 5 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The peduncle is arching and measures 3-10cm long. The rachis is pendent and measures 7.5-12cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 5-6mm apart. There are 1-2 non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


Jeffrey Wood wrote that between 11 and 20 flowers grow on an inflorescence (Wood 2001). The flower colour is either salmon-pink or yellow and salmon pink. The labellum is either brownish or salmon-pink. The column is salmon-pink, the stelidia are brown. The dorsal sepal is incurved and shaped oblong to oblong-elliptic with an acute apex often minutely apiculate. The dorsal sepal measures 7.8mm long and 4.4mm wide. The dorsal sepal has entire margins and is 3-veined. The lateral sepals are shaped ovate-oblong and have acute or obtuse apices. The lateral sepals measure 7.8-7.9mm long and 4mm wide. The laterals have entire margins and are 3-veined. The petals are shaped oblong or obliquely-oblong and have obtuse apices. The petals twist 90 degrees from vertical. The petals measure 7.8mm long and 3.8mm wide. The petals have entire margins and are 3-veined. The labellum is entire and shaped broadly ovate with a shallowly retuse or subacute apex. The labellum is incurved above its middle and elevated along its median nerve. The labellum measures 6.4mm long and 5.8mm wide. The margins on the labellum are entire. There are 2 curved keels that are tall and fleshy. The column measures 1.2-2mm long. The apical hood is sometimes obscurely 3-lobed to rounded with an entire margin. The stelidia grow from the base of the column are shaped oblong-oblanceolate with obtuse apices, 1.7-1.8mm long. The stelidia exceed the column apex.


Herbarium Specimens











Specimen 98744 (photo)


Kew Botanical Gardens (K)


Specimen K000078204 (photo)



Other herbarium Specimens


Kew Botanical Gardens (K)


Specimen 61486.000

Specimen 61488.000

Specimen 52771.000

Specimen 61487.000


Sabah Parks Herbarium




British Natural History Museum (BM)


Specimen 50669






I could find no record.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected from June to July and in October and December.




I do not think this species is in cultivation.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum pseudoscriptum


Other Information


Jeffrey Wood wrote that this species is abundant above 3200 meters. Wood also wrote that this species has the largest flowers and pseudobulbs of any species from section Eurybrachium found on Mount Kinabalu (Wood 2003).


This species differs from others by its 90 degree petals and deeper coloured labellum in contrast to the colour of the sepals and petals.


The epithet refers to the high elevation that this species is commonly found.


Reference -


CARR, C.E. 1935, Gardeners. Bulletin. Straits Settlem. 8: 235


WOOD, Jeffrey. 2003, Orchids of Borneo volume 4. The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 04 March 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 04 March 2009.