Accepted name: Dendrochilum lancilabium Ames, Orchidaceae 6: 58 (1920)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.






Origin in the Wild


Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak


Elevation in the Wild


1200-2550 metres


Habitat in the Wild


Within Kalimantan this species has been recorded on Mount Kemul. Within Sabah this species has been recorded on Mount Kinabalu and Mount Trus Madi (Wood 2001). In Sarawak this plant has been collected from Mount Mulu and Mount Murud.


Jeffrey Wood described the habitat as lower montane forest especially on exposed ridges; low xerophyllous scrub forest on ultramafic rock, on tree trunks and roots, boulders, terrestrial in mossy hummocks, creeping within mats of bog moss sometimes in full sunlight (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The rhizome branches and can grow between 12cm and 20cm long. The pseudobulbs either crowd or are spaced 2cm apart along the rhizome. The pseudobulbs are shaped narrowly cylindrical or narrowly fusiform and measure 1.5-7cm long and 0.3-0.5cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs narrow towards their apices. The pseudobulbs are covered by 3 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 0.7-3.5cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear-ligulate or narrowly elliptic and have obtuse and mucronate apices. The leaf blades measure 10-18.5cm long and 0.6-1.5cm wide. The leaves are dark green sometimes yellowish, coriaceous and have 5-6 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is erect and measures 5-11cm long. The rachis is erect to gently curved and measures 15-18cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 2-3mm apart. There is 1 non-floriferous bract at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


Ames described the flowers as greenish yellow (Ames 1920). Jeffrey Wood wrote, the flowers are greenish yellow, pale lemon or pale green (Wood 2001). The sepals and petals have tiny trichomes at their bases. The dorsal sepal is slightly concave, shaped narrowly elliptic and has an acuminate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 4.1-6.0mm long and 1.4-1.5mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped slightly obliquely narrowly elliptic and have acute to acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 4.1-5mm long and 1.4-1.5mm wide. The laterals have entire margins and are three veined. The petals are shaped narrowly elliptic and have acuminate apices. The petals measure 4-4.25mm long and 0.9-1mm wide. The petals have entire margins, sometimes minutely denticulate and are one veined. The labellum is entire, three veined and shortly clawed. The labellum measures 3-4mm long and 1.5-1.6mm wide. The labellum is shaped narrowly elliptic and has a decurved acuminate apex. The margins are minutely denticulate to erose. There are 2 prominent keels that join at the base of the hypochile and terminate just before the middle of the labellum, the median nerve is elevated and terminates at the middle of the labellum. The column is slightly curved and measures 2.5mm long. The column foot is small. The apical hood is elongated and has a subquadrate shaped apex; its margin is entire or dentate. Ames wrote that the apical hood is variable and is either 3-lobed, tridentate or entire (Ames 1920). The stelidia grow upwards from the base of the column and are almost equal to the column apex. The stelidia are at an angle to the column so they are parallel with the labellum, the stelidia measure 2mm long and are half the length of the labellum. The stelidia are shaped linear-ligulate and have obtuse apices.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 98777 (photo)







Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


I could not locate the specimen


New York Botanical Garden (NY)


Specimen 39534





Other herbarium specimens






Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


I could not locate the specimen




Specimen 98778 (photo)


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0322577

Specimen L0322578

Specimen L0322579

Specimen L0322580




Sabah Parks Herbarium














Yes, sweetly scented


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from May to January. Flowering plants in Sarawak have been collected during September and October. The collection from Kalimantan was collected during October and plants from Mount Kinabalu have been collected during various months.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum subintegrum

Dendrochilum longipes


Other Information


Jeffrey Wood wrote (2001) that Dendrochilum lancilabium is probably most closely related to Dendrochilum subintegrum. The differences are the narrower leaves and the broader labellum.


The epithet refers to the spear shaped labellum.




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.


BEAMAN, Teofila, WOOD, Jeffrey, BEAMAN, Reed, BEAMAN, John. 2001, Orchids of Sarawak, Natural History Publications Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 16 March 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 16 March 2009.