Accepted name: Dendrochilum latifolium var. macranthum (Schltr.) H.A.Pedersen, Opera Bot. 130: 51 (1997)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.




Dendrochilum macranthum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 9: 163 (1911).

Dendrochilum grandiflorum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 8: 563 (1910), nom. illeg.

Dendrochilum cagayanense Ames, Philipp. J. Sci., C 6: 41 (1911).

Dendrochilum serratum L.O.Williams, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 5: 51 (1937), nom. illeg.


Origin in the Wild


Luzon, Visayas


Elevation in the Wild


370-1630 metres


Habitat in the Wild


Within the Visayas group this species has been collected on Negros Oriental on Dumaguete in the Cuernos Mountains; Negros Occidental on the Canlaon Volcano; Leyte at Dagami and Antique at Culasi and on Mount Madia-as.


On Luzon this species has been found in Rizal Province on Mount Lumutan, Batingtingan, Montalban, Mount Iriga and near Antipolo. Within Kalinga-Apayao Province it has been found on Balbalan. Plants have been collected in Laguna on San Antonio and in Quezon Province on Mount Camatis.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on a short rhizome and are shaped fusiform to obpyriform. The pseudobulbs measure 1.7-7.5cm long and 0.5-1.8cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-6 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls are already torn at the time of flowering and disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate, the petiole measures 2.7-25.3cm long. The leaf blades measure 13.5-61.7cm long and 4.1-8.0cm wide. The leaf blades are shaped linear to broadly lanceolate and have obtuse to acute or somewhat acuminate apices. The leaves are thin textured and have 9-11 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is suberect to somewhat curved and measures 11.7-52.7cm long. The rachis is pendent and measures 12.8-39.0cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 3.0-4.5mm apart. There are 1-5 appressed non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal or central section of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers have green to orange sepals and petals and a brown labellum. The sepals and petals spread widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped linear to lanceolate-oblong and has an acute to obtuse or acuminate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 9.0-12.0mm long and 1.6-3.3mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped linear (rarely elliptic) and have obtuse to acute or acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 9.0-12.0mm long and 1.6-3.3mm wide. The lateral sepals are 3-5 veined and have entire margins. The lateral sepals can have a few minute trichomes. The petals are shaped lanceolate (rarely elliptic) and have acute to somewhat acuminate apices. The petals measure 6.5-10.8mm long and 2.2-3.9mm wide. The petals are 3-5 veined and have erose-dentate to nearly entire margins. The petals can have a few minute trichomes. The labellum is easily versatile, pendent and 3-lobed. The labellum measures 2.9-4.6mm long and 1.8-3.8mm wide. The labellum is obscurely three veined and has erose or slightly irregular margins from the base to the apices of the side lobes; the remaining margins are entire. The side lobes are usually erect, shaped obliquely oblong-triangular and have acute to obtuse apices. The mid-lobe is shaped broadly elliptic to oblong and has a rounded to obtuse apex. The labellum is finely papillose. There are two small calli located on the lateral nerves at the base of the mid-lobe. The column is suberect, somewhat incurved and measures 2.0-3.4mm long. The apical wing is prolonged into a rounded apex with a few dentate to somewhat erose margin. The apical wing distinctly exceeds the anther cap. The stelidia grow upwards from the base of the column and are distinctly shorter than the column apex. The stelidia are shaped linear to linear-triangular and have acute to somewhat acuminate apices, sometimes with a small tooth below the apices.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 18865 (photo) (Dendrochilum cagayanense)


B - destroyed (Dendrochilum grandiflorum)




US (Dendrochilum cagayanense)


Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen K000364913

Specimen K000364965

Specimen 63791.000


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0322541

Specimen L0322542

Specimen L0322543




Specimen 98806 (photo) (Dendrochilum serratum)




Yes, the scent is more noticeable during brighter days.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from March to September. Plants in cultivation generally flower during the summer and autumn in Europe.




This species is found in cultivation globally. I have seen plants in Europe, USA, New Zealand, Brazil, the Philippines and Australia.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum latifolium var latifolium (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum magnum (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum imbricatum


Other Information


Schlechter originally described Dendrochilum grandiflorum during 1910 without realising the name had already been given to a Bornean plant. Schlechter realized this afterwards and published Dendrochilum macranthum during 1911. The type specimen must have had incorrect geographical data on it as Schlechter described its origin as the Philippines but the drawing had India written on it. The origin of the type specimen is still not certainly known.


Ames excluded this species from the Philippine orchid flora because the geographical origin was not completely known. L.O. Williams finally confirmed this species as a member of the Philippine orchid flora in 1937; Williams overlooked Schlechter's publication of Dendrochilum macranthum and consequently published Dendrochilum serratum (Pedersen 1997).


Dendrochilum cagayanense was reduced to a synonym of Dendrochilum latifolium var macranthum by Pedersen in 1997. Dendrochilum cagayanense was given its name based on leaves that were longer than 30cm long and with a length width ratio of c6 (Pedersen 1997).


Ames wrote in 1924 that there was a close relationship between Dendrochilum latifolium and Dendrochilum macranthum. Henrik Pedersen could not see any difference other than the cataphylls that justified them being separate species and therefore reduced Dendrochilum macranthum to a variety of the earlier described Dendrochilum latifolium.


The photo in Jim Cootes and David Banks 1995 article labelled as Dendrochilum magnum is Dendrochilum latifolium var macranthum. (Pedersen 1997).


This species is very often confused with Dendrochilum magnum on many internet sites, photos, plant labels and show tables. I have noticed that users on US orchid forums have recently been saying that the two species are synonymous. I do not know where these claims have been substantiated from and I have not seen a published document to back these claims up. I have recently seen a Victorian (Australia) e-bay seller state that Dendrochilum magnum and D. latifolium var macranthum were the same. The key differences between the two species are outlined by Henrik Pedersen (1997), I have copied them below:


Dendrochilum magnum. The labellum more or less porrect with a somewhat cymbiform conformation. Column strongly incurved; stelidia subequal to the column proper.


Dendrochilum latifolium. Labellum pendent, flat (side lobes often erect). Column slightly incurved; stelidia shorter than the column proper.


The differences between Dendrochilum latifolium var latifolium and Dendrochilum latifolium var macranthum were described by Henrik Pedersen (1997) as:


1.            Cataphylls not conspicuously inflated, still entire at the time of flowering. Leaf blade usually less than 4cm wide………………………………..….var. latifolium

1.      Cataphylls conspicuously inflated, already at the time of flowering torn so   as to produce dark, c.5mm long, triangular teeth. Leaf blade usually more than 4cm wide…………………………………………………………………...var. macranthum


Reference -


COOTES, Jim. The Orchids of the Philippines, 2001. Timber Press, USA


PEDERSEN, Henrik. 1997, The Genus Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae) in the Philippines - A Taxonomic Revision. Opera Botanica, Denmark


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 27 July 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 27 July 2009.