Accepted name: Dendrochilum prodigiosum Ames, Orchidaceae 7: 98 (1922).

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Eurybrachium.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


2000 metres


Habitat in the Wild


Ramos collected the type specimen on Mount Lipa in Bukidnon Province, Mindanao. Ramos field notes stated that the plant was growing on a tree in mossy forest.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster along a short rhizome and are shaped fusiform to slenderly pyriform. The pseudobulbs measure 0.8-1.3cm long and 0.2-0.4cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by c3 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 0.4-1.0cm long. The leaf blades are shaped lanceolate and have obtuse apices. The leaf blades measure 2.0-4.4cm long and 0.5-1.1cm wide. The leaves are leathery and have five distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is suberect and measures 2.2-2.6cm long. The rachis is probably nodding and measures 2.7-3.2cm long.  The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced c2.5mm apart; the rachis twists to form a cylindrical spiral. There are two non floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


Ramos field notes described the plant as brownish-red (1922). Henrik Pedersen wrote that between 9 and 10 flowers grow on an inflorescence and the flowers is brownish-red with yellow petals (Pedersen 1997). The dorsal sepal is strongly concave and shaped ovate-lanceolate. The dorsal sepal measures 5mm long. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped lanceolate and have acute apices. The lateral sepals have an apiculum below their apices. The lateral sepals measure 6mm long and 3mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are tongue shaped and have subacute apices. The petals measure c5mm long and 1mm wide. The petals are three veined and have entire margins. The labellum is 3-lobed, somewhat saccate and porrect. The hypochile is 2-carinate, shaped oblong and has erect margins. The epichile, or terminal lobe, is shaped transversely elliptic and is 3-carinate. The side lobes are basal and minute. The labellum measures 6mm long and 3mm wide across the epichile. The margins are entire. The column is straight and measures c2mm long. The apical hood is prolonged and distinctly exceeds the anther cap. The stelidia recurve upwards from the top of the column, above the anther cap and distinctly exceed the column apex. The stelidia are shaped narrowly linear and have acute apices.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 18831 (photo)




I could find no record.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during July.




I do not think this species is in cultivation.


Similar Species




Other Information


Ames wrote (1922) that this species did not have any close allies in the Philippines. Henrik Pedersen wrote (1997) that there were no open flowers left on the holotype at Ames and that he was unable to dissect the unopened flowers. Pedersen wrote his description of the flower itself from the protologue of Ames, I have used that description here.


Henrik Pedersen wrote (1997) that there is no close relative of this species but the stelidia have an affinity to Dendrochilum tetradactyliferum.




AMES, Oakes. 1922, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 7 Pogonia and its Allies in the North Eastern United States and Other Papers, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


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.