Accepted name: Dendrochilum longifolium Rchb.f., Bonplandia (Hannover) 4: 329 (1856)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.

The text is below the photos.
This photo was taken by Andre Shuiteman and is used with permission
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 is of a plant from the Philippines.

This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.
This is the drawing done by J.J. Smith

This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.

This photo is of a plant that came from Papua New Guinea.




Platyclinis longifolia (Rchb.f.) Hemsl., Gard. Chron., n.s., 16: 656 (1881).

Acoridium longifolium (Rchb.f.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).

Dendrochilum bracteosum Rchb.f. in W.G.Walpers, Ann. Bot. Syst. 6: 241 (1861).

Dendrochilum fuscum Teijsm. & Binn., Natuurk. Tijdschr. Ned.-Indië 24: 305 (1862).

Acoridium bracteosum (Rchb.f.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).

Dendrochilum clemensiae Ames, Orchidaceae 2: 109 (1908).

Platyclinis bartonii Ridl., J. Straits Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. 50: 128 (1908).

Dendrochilum bartonii (Ridl.) Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1: 106 (1911).

Dendrochilum murrayi R.S.Rogers & C.T.White, Trans. & Proc. Roy. Soc. South Australia 44: 114 (1920)

Dendrochilum amboinense

Dendrochilum longifolium var. buruense Rchb.f.


Origin in the Wild


Ambon, Buru, Morotai, New Guinea, Sulawesi, Papua, Burma, Sumatra, Luzon, Mindanao and Mindoro.


Elevation in the Wild


Buru - 1900 metres

Sumatra - 900 - 2200 metres

Papua New Guinea - 600 - 2,600 metres

Philippines - 600-2200 metres

Sarawak 700-1,000 metres

Sabah 400 - 1500 metres


Habitat in the Wild


At lower elevations this species is found as an epiphyte at higher elevations it can be found growing in tufts within grassland.


On Peninsula Malaysia this species has been collected at Tembeling, Pahang.


In Singapore this species grows on riverine and old mangrove trees and has been found at Kranji, Sungei Jurong and Sungei Murai.


On Mindanao this species has been collected from Lanao del Sur at Camp Keithley by Lanao Lake.


On Mindoro this species has been collected on Mount Halcon and was described as growing in forests (Ames 1907).


On Buru this species has been collected on Gunung Togha.


On Morotai this species has been found growing on Gunung Pare Pare.


In Papua New Guinea and Papua specimens have been collected from Aiyura; Isuarava; Balim; Agamoia; Gorupu Mountains; Near Miwaute village, (Torricelli Mts.) Lumi Subdistrict, Sepik District; Mafo Barracks (on Ibinamo River), Tufi Subdistrict, Northern District; Lake Ridubidubina; Koitaki; A-mieng (A-mien) on Yaneng (Yanem) River a tributary of the Buso River above mouth of Tasapik creek; Kainantu; Koroba subdistrict, Southern Highlands; Lake Erebo nr. Hedemari Mission, Watabung, Madang District; Near Gurumbu village, south-western foothills of Finisterre Mountains; Wilhelm Mountain; Adjar in the Kebar Valley; Confluent Warapuri and Kori rivers, Wahgi - Jimmy Divide N. of Nondugl, Minj sub-district Eastern Highlands; Mount Otto; Arfak Mountains; Mt. Lamington, Subdistrict Popondetta, Northern District; Saru River, 7 miles S.E. of Garaina, Lae subdistr; Morobe District; Zenag, Mumeng Subdistrict; Morobe District, Meri creek near Wau; Morobe District, Wantoat; Morobe District, Mary Creek; Morobe District, Head of Baime Cr., Yamap, Wau Subdistrict; Mazmal, Minj subdistrict, Western Highlands District; Kosipi Swamp, via Woitape, Goilala, District Central Province; Inland from Inu Mission, Lake Kutubu Subdist., Kutubu Distr., S.Highlands; Mount Busavi on its northern side; Chimbu District, Mongoma; Arona side of Kassam Pass, District Eastern Highlands, Subdistrict Kainantu; Bulolo and the Norikori Swamp.


In Kalimantan plants have been collected from the base of Mount Malem.


In Sabah plants have been collected from where the Long Pa Sia River meets the Maga River, along the Lohan River, Nabawan area and along the Keningau to Kimanis road in the Crocker range.


In Sarawak plants have been collected from Mount Api and Bario, Pa Berang. The habitat is described as hill forest on limestone and lower montane kerangas forest (Beaman, et al 2001).


This is the most widespread species native to Borneo. The Bornean habitat has been described as "Primary riverine forest up to 30 metres high with an undergrowth of small trees, on flat alluvial terrain, sandy soil derived from sandstone; podsol forest; limestone boulders; roadside cuttings on sandstone and shale outcrops. Partially covered with grass and small bushes, fully exposed to sun" (Wood 2001).


On Sumatra plants have been collected from Pinte.


On Java it has only been found in the west of the island and as an epiphyte.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on a short rhizome. The pseudobulbs are shaped terete, fusiform or narrowly conical (HSUAN KENG, S.C. et al 1998), cylindrical to narrowly pyriform or narrowly ovate-elliptic (Wood 2001).  The pseudobulbs measure 8-10cm long and 1-1.5cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-6 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 3.0-15cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly elliptic to oblong elliptic and have subacute to acute apices. The leaf blades measure 21-50cm long and 2.3-6.5cm wide. In Singapore the leaf blades measure 40cm long and 6.5cm wide (HSUAN KENG, S.C. et al 1998). The leaves are thick or thin textured and have 10-15 distinct nerves with the median nerve most prominent.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and emerges from immature pseudobulbs. The peduncle is suberect to arching and measures 11.5-56cm long. The rachis is arching to pendent and measures 14.0-25cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 3.0-5.0mm apart. There are 1-5 appressed non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flower colour is green with brown markings on the labellum. Up to 40 flowers grow on an inflorescence (Cootes 2001). The sepals and petals spread widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped lanceolate and has an acuminate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 5.0-7.9mm long and 2.0-2.6mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped lanceolate and have acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 6.0-8.2mm long and 2.0-2.8mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped lanceolate and have acuminate to subacute apices. The petals measure 5.0-6.9mm long and 1.9-2.3mm wide. The petals are three veined and have entire margins. The labellum is easily versatile, stipitate to the column foot by a short claw, more or less pendent and 3-lobed. The labellum measures 5.3-6.7mm long and 2.7-3.9mm wide. The labellum is three veined and has entire margins on the side lobes and irregular margins on the mid-lobe. The side lobes spread and are shaped obliquely linear-triangular with acute to acuminate apices. The side lobes are distinctly shorter than the mid-lobe. The mid lobe is gradually recurved and is shaped broadly elliptic to obovate with an acuminate apex. There are two keels that are joined at the base and terminate at the middle of the labellum. There is an elevated median nerve. The column is suberect to strongly incurved. The column measures 2.8-4.0mm. The apical hood is prolonged, shaped oblong and has a rounded apex with a finely crenate to erose margin. The stelidia grow up and outwards from the middle of the column and are shorter than the column apex. The stelidia are shaped linear, somewhat falcate and are unequally emarginated.


Herbarium Specimens




National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0267602 (photo) (Dendrochilum longifolium var. buruense)




Specimen 18863 (photo of the holotype of Dendrochilum clemensiae that was destroyed at PNH, on a sheet with another non-type specimen)




National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0267578 (photo) (Dendrochilum amboinense)


Other herbarium specimens


Kew Botanical Gardens (K)


Specimen 40662.000 (Dendrochilum bartonii)

Specimen 43427.000 (Dendrochilum bartonii)

Specimen 39719.000 (Dendrochilum bartonii)

Specimen 20280.000 (Dendrochilum bartonii)

Specimen 7154.000 (Dendrochilum bartonii)

Specimen 23125.000

Specimen 74593.000

Specimen 20286.000

Specimen 19469.000

Specimen 63792.000

Specimen 31691.000

Specimen 60716.000

Specimen K000079153 (Photo) (Lindley Herbarium)

Specimen 53052.000

Specimen 57356.000

Specimen K000364972

Specimen 54594.000

Specimen K000364973

Specimen 29420.000

Specimen 35463.000

Specimen 63309.000

Specimen K000364766

Specimen 54841.000

Specimen 50962.000




National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0267576

Specimen L0267577

Specimen L0267603

Specimen L0267604

Specimen L0267605

Specimen L0267606

Specimen L0267608

Specimen L0269627

Specimen L0269628

Specimen L0269629

Specimen L0269630

Specimen L0269631

Specimen L0269632

Specimen L0269633

Specimen L0269634

Specimen L0269635

Specimen L0269636

Specimen L0269637

Specimen L0269638

Specimen L0269639

Specimen L0269640

Specimen L0269641

Specimen L0269642

Specimen L0269643

Specimen L0269644

Specimen L0269645

Specimen L0269646

Specimen L0269647

Specimen L0269648

Specimen L0269649

Specimen L0269650

Specimen L0269651

Specimen L0269652

Specimen L0269653

Specimen L0269654

Specimen L0269655

Specimen L0269656

Specimen L0269657

Specimen L0269658

Specimen L0269659

Specimen L0322581

Specimen L0322582

Specimen L0322583

Specimen L0322584

Specimen L0322585

Specimen L0322586

Specimen L0322587

Specimen L0322588

Specimen L0322589

Specimen L0322590

Specimen L0322591

Specimen L0322592

Specimen L0322593

Specimen L0322594

Specimen L0322595

Specimen L0322596

Specimen L0322597

Specimen L0322598

Specimen L0322599

Specimen L0322600

Specimen L0322601

Specimen L0322602

Specimen L0322603

Specimen L0322605

Specimen L0322606

Specimen L0322607

Specimen L0322608

Specimen L0322609

Specimen L0322610

Specimen L0322611

Specimen L0322612

Specimen L0322613

Specimen L0322614

Specimen L0322615

Specimen L0322616

Specimen L0322617




Specimen 98751 (photo) (Dendrochilum bartonii)

Specimen 98753 (photo) (Dendrochilum bartonii)

Specimen 98752 (photo) (Dendrochilum bartonii)














Yes, a spicy fragrance.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected on Morotai during May. On Buru flowering plants have been collected in the wild during February.  In Papua New Guinea and Papua flowering plants have been collected in every month but November. In Sabah flowering plants have been collected from October to December. In Kalimantan flowering plants have been collected during August. In Sarawak flowering plants have been collected during September and November. On Sumatra flowering plants have been collected during January. Within the Philippines this plant has been collected during May, July, September and October. On Peninsula Malaysia plants have been collected during January and October.


In cultivation I have known this species to flower during the spring.




This species is often found in cultivation worldwide.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum edanoi

Dendrochilum oxylobum (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum abbreviatum

Dendrochilum pangasinanse (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum dewindtianum (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum imbricatum

Dendrochilum krauseanum (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum micholitzianum

Dendrochilum rigidifolium


Other Information


This species is often confused with Dendrochilum latifolium and Dendrochilum magnum on different internet sites, forums and show tables. I have seen D. longifolium mislabelled as Dendrochilum abbreviatum. A Hawaiian seller on e-bay, Wilkorchids, has recently (2010) been selling a plant incorrectly mislabelled as Dendrochilum clemensiae, a synonym of Dendrochilum longifolium. The plant they are selling is actually Dendrochilum pangasinanense.


Henrik Pedersen reduced Dendrochilum clemensiae to a synonym of Dendrochilum longifolium in 1997 after comparing the holotype of Dendrochilum longifolium to the herbarium material of Dendrochilum clemensiae.


Jim Cootes wrote that the leaves are longer when the plant is grown in deeper shade (Cootes 2001).


A beetle of the Ryhncophoros genus has been observed creeping amongst the plant with pollen on it; this has led people to believe that this beetle is a pollinator of this plant (Van der Cingel (2001).


The epithet refers to the long leaves.


Reference -


AMES, Oakes. 1907, Orchidaceae Halconenses: An Enumeration of the Orchids Collected on and Near Mount Halcon, Mindoro, Chiefly By E.D. Merrill, Bureau of Printing, Manila.


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


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


COOTES, Jim. BANKS, David. 1995, The genus Dendrochilum A guide to the species in cultivation, Orchids Australia, AOC


COMBER, J.B. Orchids of Java, 1990, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK


COMBER, J.B. Orchids of Sumatra, 2001, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew


HSUAN KENG, S.C. CHIN, Tan, Chin & H.T.W. 1998, The Concise Flora of Singapore, Volume II Monocotyledons, Singapore University Press, Singapore.


PEDERSEN, Henrik. 1995, Thirteen new species of Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae), a new record from Burma, and a checklist of the genus in East Malesia. Nord. J. Bot 15:381-402. Copenhagen, Denmark.


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


VAN DER CINGEL, N. A. An Atlas of Orchid Pollination: America, Africa, Asia and Australia, 2001 CRC Press


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 26 November 2008. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 26 November 2008.