Accepted name: Dendrochilum angustipetalum Ames, Orchidaceae 6: 47 (1920)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.


The photo above is from Ames facsimile 6 published in 1920








Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


1200-2000 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This plant has been collected in Sabah on Mount Kinabalu on the Marai Parai Spur and on Mount Tambuyukon near the summit. Jeffrey Wood described the habitat as lower montane forest on an ultramafic substrate. A collector's field notes describe the plant as growing one metre above ground up a moss-covered tree in semi mossy forest and on the top of a ridge (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs crowd along a short rhizome that grows to c5cm long. The pseudobulbs are shaped ovoid-oblong to globose-ovoid and measure 0.8-4.5cm long and 0.5-1.5cm wide. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-5 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 0.4-2.5cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear to oblong or oblong-elliptic and have obtuse and mucronate to acute apices. The leaf blades measure 3.0-12.0cm long and 0.6-2.0cm wide. The leaves are thinly coriaceous to rigid and have 7-8 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and grows from the nearly fully expanded leaf. The peduncle is gently curved and measures 8.0-16.5cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross section, arching and measures 5.0-8.0cm long. The flowers alternate distichously, are often flexuose and spaced 2.0mm apart. There are one or two non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


Ames wrote that about 25 flowers grow on the inflorescence, are a cream and brown colour (Ames 1920). Jeffrey Wood wrote that up to 40 flowers grow on an inflorescence (Wood 2001). The sepals and petals are pale yellow; the labellum is pale yellow with whitish margins, the keels and elevate median nerve bright salmon pink, column salmon pink, apical hood and stelidia whitish. The colour is also described as greenish yellow with an orange and white labellum, salmon pink with two purple spots on the labellum and cream and pink (Wood 2001). The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong to oblong-elliptic and has an acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 3.5-4.5mm long and 0.9-1.0mm wide. The dorsal sepal is 3-veined and has entire margins. The lateral sepals are shaped oblong-elliptic with acute, sometimes falcate apices. The lateral sepals are concave at their bases and obscurely carinate. The lateral sepals measure 3.5-4.5mm long and 1.0-1.1mm wide. The lateral sepals are 3-veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped linear-oblong and have acute apices. The petals measure 4.5mm long. The petals are 1 veined and have slightly erose margins. The labellum is 3-nerved and 3-lobed. The labellum measures 2.2-3.0mm long. The side lobes are erect, small, shaped triangular with acute apices. The side lobe margins are irregularly serrate or erose. The mid-lobe is shaped triangular-ovate or elliptic with an acute apex. The margins of the mid-lobe are entire or minutely erose. There are two prominent keels than terminate at the base of the mid-lobe, the keels join at the base. There is a non elevated median nerve the joins the keels basally to form an M shape. The column is incurved and measures 2.0mm long. The column foot is prominent. The apical wing is prolonged into a rounded apex with a minutely erose margin. The stelidia grow upwards from just below the middle of the column. The stelidia are equal to the column apex. The stelidia are shaped oblong with subobtuse apices.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 48122 (photo)





Other herbarium specimens


National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0269510


Kew Botanical Gardens (K)


Specimen 60397.000




Yes, a strong sweet scent (Wood 2001).


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from March to May and from August, to November.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum kelabitense (see this page for the differences)


Other Information


The epithet refers to the narrow petals.


Reference -


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.


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 12 February 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 12 February 2009.