Accepted name: Dendrochilum ochrolabium J.J.Wood in J.J.Wood & P.J.Cribb, Check-list Orchids Borneo: 187 (1994)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.






Origin in the Wild


Sabah and Sarawak


Elevation in the Wild


800-1500 metres


Habitat in the Wild


Within Sarawak this species has been collected in the Kapit District along the Mengiong and Balleh Rivers and on Mount Penrissen in the Kuching District.


Within Sabah this species has been collected in the Sipitang District along the Long Pa Sia to Long Samado trail and where it crosses the Malabid River. This species has also been collected on a ridge east of Maga River and 1.5km south of its confluence with Pa Sia River. A photo was taken by Anthony Lamb of a plant in the Crocker Range on the Sinsuron Road.


Jeffrey Wood described the habitat as “open low dry stunted forest to 5-10 metres high on sandstone ridges with a dense undergrowth of terrestrial orchids and other herbs; very low and open podsol forest; primary submontane forest; recorded as an epiphyte on a tree trunk near a steam” (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs crowd along branching rhizomes that measure up to 4cm long. The pseudobulbs are shaped ovoid to elliptic or oblong-cylindrical and measure 0.5-1.2cm long and 0.2-0.3cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 3-4 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into non-persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 1-4mm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly elliptic to linear ligulate and have obtuse apices that are usually minutely mucronate. The leaf blades measure 4.0-7.0cm long and 0.3-0.6cm wide. The leaves have five distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is erect and measures 1.2-4.0cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross section, pale reddish-green to salmon-pink, curved and measures 1.5-4.0cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 2-3mm apart. There are no non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


Jeffrey Wood wrote that between 5 and 13 flowers grow on an inflorescence (Wood 2001). Wood also wrote that the sepals and petals are yellowish green or pale green. The labellum is pale green, orange or ochre. The labellum centre has a reddish brown to brownish centre with two dark red basal bands or orange with pale green side lobes. The column is pale green (Wood 2001). The dorsal sepal is shaped narrowly ovate-elliptic and has an acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 3.9-4.0mm long and 1.1mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped ovate-elliptic and have acute apices. The lateral sepals measure 3.9-4.0mm long and 1.2-1.3mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are three veined. The petals are shaped ovate-elliptic and have long acute apices. The petals measure 3.0mm long and 1.1mm wide. The petals are three veined and have slightly erose margins. The labellum is 3-lobed, minutely papillose, stipitate to the column foot by a narrow claw and 3-veined. The labellum measures 2.8mm long and 1.2-1.3mm wide at the side lobes, 1.4-1.5mm wide across the mid-lobe. The side lobes are auriculate and have irregularly dentate margins. The mid-lobe is somewhat convex, shaped obovate and has an obtuse apex. The mid-lobe margin is entire. There are two papillose keels that are joined basally by a narrow transverse flange. The keels terminate just past the beginning of the mid-lobe. There is an elevated median nerve between the keels. The column is incurved and measures 1.8mm long. The column foot is short. The apical hood is shaped ovate to oblong and has a rounded and sometimes obscurely three lobed apex. The stelidia grow upwards from near the middle of the column and do not reach the apex of the apical hood or the anther cap but reach the stigmatic cavity. The stelidia measure c0.8mm long, are shaped ligulate and have subacute apices.


Herbarium Specimens




National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0058684 (photo)





Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 60723.000

Specimen K000079130 (Photo)



Other herbarium specimens




Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 60724.000

Specimen 60726.000


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0269674




The flowers are slightly scented.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during July, October and December.




I do not think this species is in general cultivation. There is a specimen in cultivation at the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum dulitense


Other Information


Jeffrey Wood wrote (2001) that this species is related to Dendrochilum dulitense but differs by its slightly broader narrowly elliptic minutely black punctuate-ramentaceous leaves, pale green flowers with an orange to ochre labellum, smaller tepals lacking basal papillae, smaller and narrower labellum and leaves with prominent lateral nerves.


The epithet refers to the ochre-yellow colour of the labellum.




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. 23 July 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 23 July 2009.