Accepted name: Dendrochilum muluense J.J.Wood, Kew Bull. 39: 80 (1984).

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.






Origin in the Wild


Brunei, Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak


Elevation in the Wild


1400 - 2200 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This epiphyte is encountered in ridge top montane forest, mossy forest and oak-laurel forest. The photo above, taken by George Lai, was growing above 1500 metres towards camp 4 on Mount Mulu, the plant was growing epiphytically amongst moss and in cool surroundings.


Within Sarawak this species is found on Mount Murud and in the Kelabit Highlands growing on tree trunks. Other collections have been made on Mount Mulu in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Mount Pagon, Sungai Ulu Limbang, and the summit to the ridge connecting Batu Lawi in the Limbang District


This species can also be found in Brunei in the Temburong district on Retak Hill and in Sabah in the Crocker Range on Mount Alab. In Kalimantan this species has been found on Mount Batu Harun.


The Kew specimen, 72873, was collected mixed lower montane mossy forest on a sandstone ridge.


The Plants Description


The rhizome branches and can measure anywhere between 2 to 18cm long. The pseudobulbs crowd along the rhizome and are shaped narrowly conical or fusiform. The pseudobulbs measure 0.8-2cm long and 0.3-0.8cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 3-4 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 1.0-4.5cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic and have obtuse and mucronate apices. The leaf blades measure 5-15.5cm long and 0.4-1.3 cm wide. The leaves are thin textured and have five distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is erect or gently curved and measures 6-14.5cm long. The rachis is erect and grows at a sharp angle to the peduncle. The rachis measures 1.5-3.5cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 1.8-2mm apart. There are 2-3 non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The flowers


Jeffrey Wood wrote that between 8 and 17 flowers grow on an inflorescence (Wood 2001). The flowers have white, cream, or whitish green sepals and petals. The labellum is white or yellowish-orange with a brownish spot at its base and a yellow tip at its apex. The column is pale yellow and the column foot is red. The flowers are non-rescupinate. The sepals are concave and the petals slightly concave. The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong to oblong-elliptic and has an obtuse apex. The dorsal sepal measures 4-4.5mm long and 1.5mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped obliquely oblong to oblong-elliptic with obtuse apices. The lateral sepals measure 4-5mm long and 1.8mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are three veined. The petals are shaped oblong-elliptic and have obtuse apices. The petals measure 3.5-4.5mm long and 1.2-1.5mm wide. The petals have microscopic erose margins and are three veined. The labellum is 3-lobed, concave and measures 4-5mm long. The side lobes are erect, shaped oblong and have rounded apices. The mid-lobe is shaped obovate-flabellate and has a rounded-obtuse apex. There are two keels that terminate at the base of the side lobes. The column is gently curved and measures 2.8-3mm long. The column foot is prominent. The apical hood is ovate and has a truncate and entire apex. The stelidia grow upwards from the middle of the column, just below the stigmatic cavity and do not exceed the column apex. The stelidia are shaped triangular-linear and have subobtuse or acute apices. The stelidia are somewhat falcate. The stelidia measure 0.8mm long.


Herbarium Specimens









Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 42130.000



Other herbarium specimens




Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 61446.000

Specimen 72456.000

Specimen 72873.000

Specimen 43194.000



National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0246009

Specimen L0269663

Specimen L0269664

Specimen L0269665

Specimen L0269666

Specimen L0269667

Specimen L0269668

Specimen L0269669

Specimen L0269670
















I have not been able to find any record of scent.


Flowering Season


I do not think this species is in cultivation. Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from January to March and July to November. George Lai took the photo above during June.




I do not think that this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


No similar species


Additional Comments


This species is easily identified by it upwards curving inflorescence and non-resupinate flowers that are white with a yellow tipped labellum.


Reference -


BEAMAN, Teofila E. WOOD, Jeffrey J. REPIN, Rimi. BEAMAN, John H. 1999, "An Enumeration of Orchid Collections from the Kelabit Highlands", ASEAN Review of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, 1999 p22


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


WOOD, Jeffrey. 1997, Orchids of Borneo volume 3. The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 30 July 2008. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 30 July 2008.