Accepted name: Dendrochilum philippinense (Ames) Pfitzer in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr., IV, 50 II B 7: 118 (1907)

Subgenus – Acoridium. Section – Acoridium.




Acoridium philippinense Ames, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 19: 149 (1906).


Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


1,600 - 2,540 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This Dendrochilum is endemic to Luzon and has been recorded from Benguet Province on Mt Boadan, Mt Data, Mt Pangualitikai, Mt Simakoko and Mt Tabayoc; Ifugao Province on Mt Polis and Ilcos Province, on the route from the miners camp to Mt Burnay. This plant grows at an epiphyte in mossy forest


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs are shaped somewhat pyriform (Ames) and measure 1.3-3.5cm long and 0.3-1cm 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 2.2-9.4cm long. The leaf blades are shaped oblanceolate to linear-lanceolate and have obtuse to acute apices. The leaf blades measure 8.8-19.9cm long and 1.1-3.1cm wide. The leaves have 5-9 distinct nerves; the two outermost nerves are 0.5-2mm from the leaf margin.


The Inflorescence


The peduncle measures 8.4-31.4cm long. The rachis is nodding to pendent and measures 4.2-16.4cm long. The flowers are spaced 2-3mm apart. The flowers open from the central or proximal part of the rachis. There are 2-10 non-floriferous bracts.


The Flowers


The flowers colour is light yellow to dark yellow. The dorsal sepal is shaped elliptic-oblong to narrowly oblong and has a subacute to shortly acuminate, even slightly carinate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 3.7-6.9mm long and 1.5-2.4mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped obliquely elliptic-oblong and have subacute to acuminate apices, sometimes slightly carinate. The lateral sepals measure 3.7-6.3mm long and 1.5-2.4mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are three veined. The petals are shaped broadly elliptic to ovate and have subacute apices. The petals measure 3.1-5.2mm long and 2.1-3.7mm wide. The petals have entire margins and are three veined. The labellum is 3-lobed and measures 1.2-1.8mm long and 1.8-2.4mm wide. The side lobes are porrect, shaped falcately linear and have obtuse to subacute apices. The side-lobes are shorter than the mid lobe. The mid-lobe is shaped oblong and has an obtuse to subacute apex. The lateral and median calli unite to make a horseshoe like structure. The column measures 0.7-1mm long, is straight and slightly incurved. The anther cap is subquadrate from its upper view and rounded (mildly apiculate) from the front.


Herbarium Specimens




Philippine National Herbarium (PNH)


Specimen - destroyed





New York Botanical Garden (NY)


Specimen 39528 (photo)


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


I could not locate the specimen




Specimen 48 (photo)





Other herbarium specimens


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0322694

Specimen L0322695

Specimen L0322696

Specimen L0322697




Ames wrote that the scent is like freshly sawed pine lumber.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from September to April.




This species is often found in cultivation around the world, although not common. I have found that new growths can be prone to rot.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum marginatum

Dendrochilum rhombophorum

Dendrochilum macgregorii

Dendrochilum foxworthyi

Dendrochilum philippinense var. purpureum


Dendrochilum croceum


Additional Information


Ames described a smaller flowered form of this species (Ames 1909). The lateral sepals were 3.5mm long and 1.5mm wide. The dorsal sepal was 3mm long and 1mm wide. The petals were 3mm long and 1.75mm wide. The side lobes equalled the mid-lobe. The two lateral calli were minute, rounded and located at the base of each side lobe. The labellum was conduplicate. The flower colour at the proximal end of the inflorescence was brownish and at the distal section yellow. The flowers appeared to look partially closed. The specimen was numbered 15163 Curran & Merritt. I have not yet seen it.


Henrik Pedersen wrote (1997) that this species differs from variety purpureum by the flower colour and the 3-lobed labellum. The labellum is entire in variety purpureum.


Pedersen also wrote that the appearance of the calli suggests a closer relationship with Dendrochilum rhombophorum and Dendrochilum macgregorii.


Reference -


AMES, Oakes. 1908, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 2, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


AMES, Oakes. 1909, Notes on the Philippine Orchids with Descriptions of New Species, Philippine Journal of Science, Manilla, Philippines.


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 03 November 2008. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 03 November 2008.