Accepted name: Dendrochilum planiscapum Carr, Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 8: 228 (1935)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


1300 - 2400 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species is found on Mount Kinabalu and has been collected from Tenompok, Menteki Ridge, Bukit Ular, Mesilau Trail and the Mesilau Cave Trail. Further collections have been made in Sipitang District in the Long Pa Sia area, Mount Alab and along the Sinsuron road in the Crocker Range.


Jeffrey Wood described its habitat as lower montane forest, upper montane forest, mossy Agathis forest and Dacrydium/Leptospermum forest with little undergrowth on gravels, ultramafic and dioritic rock. There has been a record of this species growing as an epiphyte on Castanopsis (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The rhizome branches and can measure up to 4cm long. The pseudobulbs crowd along the rhizome and are shaped ovoid. The pseudobulbs measure 1.5-2.7cm long and 1-1.5cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by three cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 2.0-7.0cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear-ligulate and have acute apices that are conduplicate. The leaf blades measure 17-26cm long and 0.5-0.85cm wide. The leaves have five distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and emerges when the leaf is almost fully grown. The peduncle is flattened, pale yellowish green, erect or gently curved and measures 9-16cm long. The rachis is pale green, arched to pendent and measures 18-24cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 4-6mm apart. There is one non-floriferous bract at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the distal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


Jeffrey Wood wrote that between 20 and 50 flowers grow on an inflorescence. The flowers have bright yellow green, lemon-yellow or pale greenish cream sepals and petals. The sepals are often suffused with red at their bases. The labellum is pale salmon-pink, dark brown or maroon-purple. The column is pale green above and brownish pink at its base, the apical hood is whitish and the stelidia are white or are very pale salmon-pink (Wood 2001). The sepals and petals are papillose and have three nerves one of which is prominent; the two lateral nerves are obscure. The dorsal sepal is shaped narrowly oblong-ligulate and has a subacute to acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 8.5-11mm long and 1.8-2.1mm wide. The dorsal sepal has a slightly revolute, entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped narrowly linear-elliptic to ligulate and have acute apices. The lateral sepals measure 7-10.5mm long and 1.8-2.1mm wide. The laterals have revolute and entire margins. The petals are shaped oblong to oblong-elliptic and have acute, sometimes falcate apices. The petals measure 6.8-10mm long and 1.7-2mm wide. The petals have strongly revolute and entire margins. The labellum is obscurely papillose, subentire and coiled at its apex. The labellum measures 4.8-7mm long and 2mm wide. The side lobes are obscure, erect and rounded. The mid-lobe is shaped narrowly triangular-ovate or triangular-elliptic and has an acute or obtuse apex. There are two keels that run from the base and end near the apex; the keels are reduced to prominent nerves at the apex. The column measures 2.8-3mm. The column foot is prominent. The apical hood is shaped oblong-triangular and has an obtuse and entire, bidentate or tridentate apex. The stelidia grow upwards from the middle of the column, opposite the stigmatic cavity and exceed the column apex. The stelidia are shaped broadly triangular and have acuminate apices; the stelidia measure 2mm long.


Herbarium Specimens











Specimen 98795 (photo)

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen K000079132 (photo)



Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 61492.000

Specimen 52773.000

Specimen 26267.000






National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0322698

Specimen L0322700




Yes, but I don’t know what kind of scent


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from January to February and from July to November.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum odoratum

Dendrochilum simile

Dendrochilum mirabile (see this page for the differences)


Other Information


The coiled labellum looks similar to Dendrochilum mirabile, Dendrochilum odoratum and Dendrochilum simile. Jeffrey Wood wrote (2001) that it is most closely related to Dendrochilum simile and Dendrochilum odoratum.


This species is distinguishable from other Borneo species by its flattened peduncle and recurved apex on the labellum.


The epithet refers to the flattened peduncle.




CARR, C.E. 1935, Gardeners. Bulletin. Straits Settlem. 8: 235


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. 22 May 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 22 May 2009.