Accepted name: Dendrochilum niveum Ames, Orchidaceae 6: 284 (1920).

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


1000 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been collected in Kalinga-Apayao Province on Balbalan and in Rizal Province on Mount Susungdalaga.


This species grows on mossy tree trunks (Cootes 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs are clustered along the rhizome and are shaped narrowly fusiform-obpyriform. The pseudobulbs measure 3.7-6.9cm long and 0.5-0.7cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-5 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 10.6-20.6cm long. The leaf blades are shaped lanceolate and have obtuse apices. The leaf blades measure 26.0-38.5cm long and 3.8-5.0cm wide. The leaves are thin textured and have five distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and appears with the new growth. The peduncle is suberect and measures 14.4-24.0cm long. The rachis is nodding and measures 7-12.3cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 2-3.5mm apart. There are none or one non-floriferous bract at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flower colour is white. The sepals and petals spread widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped linear-lanceolate and has an acuminate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 5.8-5.9mm long and 1.2-1.4mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped linear-lanceolate and have acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 6.0-6.5mm long and c1.2mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are three veined. The petals are shaped narrowly lanceolate and have acuminate apices. The petals measure 5.0-5.7mm long and 1.2-1.4mm wide. The petals have finely erose margins and are three veined. The labellum is slightly versatile, more or less porrect, three veined and 3-lobed. The labellum measures 2.2-2.6mm long and 1.5-1.6mm wide. The side lobes are erect, shaped obliquely triangular-oblong and have obtuse apices. The side lobes are shorter than the mid-lobe. The mid-lobe is shaped suborbicular to elliptic and has a rounded to obtuse apex that is often apiculate. The margins are erose to finely erose-crenate. There is a transverse E shaped callus at the base of the labellum that can be more or less broken into three separate calli. The column is suberect and measures 1.4-1.8mm long. The column foot is very short. The apical hood is prolonged into a rounded 2-4 dentate wing and distinctly exceeds the anther cap. The stelidia grow upwards from the middle of the column and terminate below the apical wing. The stelidia are shaped linear-triangular and have subacute to somewhat acuminate apices.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 18828 (photo)





Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


I could not locate the specimen



Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 74331.000




Yes, a faint sweet scent.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during March.




This species is found in cultivation in Australia and rarely in the United States. Some plants could be mislabelled as Dendrochilum glumaceum.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum glumaceum


Other Information


When Ames described this species he compared it to Dendrochilum filiforme and said it differed by the labellum and that the inflorescence was more lax. Henrik Pedersen wrote that it is the sister species of Dendrochilum glumaceum.


This species differs from Dendrochilum glumaceum by its generally longer pseudobulbs and leaves, smaller flowers, erect side lobes, transverse E shaped callus and white labellum. Some Dendrochilum glumaceum flowers have been recorded as having a white labellum.


The epithet refers to the white flowers.





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.


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. 19 March 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 19 March 2009.