Accepted name: Dendrochilum quadrilobum Ames, Orchidaceae 5: 61 (1915)

Subgenus – Acoridium. Section – Acoridium.




Acoridium quadrilobum (Ames) Ames, Orchidaceae 7: 81 (1922).


Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


200 - 2000 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been recorded from Ifugao Province on Mount Polis and in Kalinga-Apayao on Mount Pasoan. This species is found growing as an epiphyte in mossy forest.


The Plants Description


The plant is small and tufted. The pseudobulbs cluster on a short rhizome. The pseudobulbs are shaped oval and measure 0.6-2cm long and 0.1-0.3cm in diameter (2.5cm long and 0.5cm in diameter - Cootes et al 1995). The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-5 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into non-persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 0.2-0.7cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear and have obtuse to rounded-truncate apices; their apices are often finely mucronate. The leaf blades measure 6.0cm long and 0.5cm wide. There are 1-3 distinct nerves on the leaf blade.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and free from the subtending leaf at the time of flowering. The peduncle is suberect to curved and measures 2.0-9.8cm long. The rachis is nodding and measures 2-5cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and twist around the rachis like a helix. The flowers are spaced 1mm apart and open from the proximal end of the rachis. There are 1-2 appressed non floriferous bracts on the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers are white.  Up to 25 flowers grow on an inflorescence (Cootes 2001). The dorsal sepal is shaped lanceolate and has a subacuminate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 1.9-2.3mm long and 0.4-0.5mm wide. The dorsal has an entire margin and is one veined. The lateral sepals are slightly oblique, shaped lanceolate and have acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 2-2.4mm long and 0.5-0.7mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are one veined. The petals are shaped narrowly lanceolate and have acute apices. The petals measure 1.1-2.1mm long and 0.2-0.4mm wide. The petals have entire margins and are one veined. The labellum is porrect, 3-lobed and is without any distinct veins. The labellum measures 0.4-0.8mm long and 0.6-0.8mm wide. The labellum shape and size varies. The margins are entire. The side lobes are erect, shaped obliquely-oblong and have rounded-truncate apices. The side lobes are shorter or equal in length to the mid-lobe. The mid-lobe is shaped subquadrate to broadly oblong and has an emarginate to apiculate apex. There are two lateral calli at the base of each side lobe. There is a smaller median callus located in the centre of the disc and further to the base of the hypochile. The column is suberect and measures 0.3-0.4mm long; the column is not hooded at its apex. The anther is shaped broadly elliptic from its upper view and rounded from its front.


Herbarium Specimens




I could not locate the specimen





National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0058479 (photo)



Other herbarium specimens


New York Botanical Garden (NY)


Specimen - 39526 (Isosyntype) (photo)




Specimen 18846 (photo)

Specimen 18845 (photo)




Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


I could not locate the specimen


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0322715








Yes, a sweet pleasant smell.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from January to February. In cultivation this species flowers during spring.




This species is found in cultivation globally. I have seen plants in cultivation in the United States of America, Australia and Europe.


A plant won an award in the United States of America. The plant had 1040 open flowers and 20 buds on 53 inflorescences.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum asperum

Dendrochilum parvulum var parvulum

Dendrochilum parvulum var strictiforme

Dendrochilum mindanaense

Dendrochilum microchilum

Dendrochilum binuangense


Other Information


Oakes Ames compared this species to Dendrochilum parvulum and D. microchilum. Ames wrote that this species is different from D. parvulum and D. microchilum because the mid-lobe of the labellum is longer than the side lobes (Ames 1915). The mid-lobe gives an appearance of being 4 lobed, hence its epithet. L.O. Williams wrote that Dendrochilum quadrilobum had no close relatives. Henrik Pedersen agreed with Oakes Ames and placed Dendrochilum quadrilobum in a group with those others named above. They are grouped because of the similarities of the labellum, vegetative similarities and a peduncle that is free from the subtending leaf at the time of flowering.


I have used Henrik Pedersen's measurements rather than Oakes Ames; the reason being is that more specimens have been collected since its original collection in 1915.


The epithet refers to its 4 lobed labellum.


Reference -


AMES, Oakes. 1915, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 5, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


COOTES, Jim. The Orchids of the Philippines, 2001. Timber Press, USA


COOTES, Jim. BANKS, David. 1995, The genus Dendrochilum A guide to the species in cultivation, Orchids Australia, AOC


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 12 December 2008. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 12 December 2008.