Accepted name: Dendrochilum saccolabium Kraenzl., Ann. K.K. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 30: 56 (1916)

Subgenus – Acoridium. Section – Acoridium.




Acoridium saccolabium (Kraenzl.) Ames, Schedul. Orchid. 5: 2 (1923).


Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


200-335 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been collected in Laguna Province at Kapatalan and Santa Maria. This species has also been collected from Rizal province, its exact locality unknown.


This plant has been recorded as growing as an epiphyte in forest.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster along the rhizome and are shaped semifusiform. The pseudobulbs measure 1.3-3.3cm long and 0.2-0.5cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-5 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate but not distinctly. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly linear and have acute apices. The leaf blades measure 22.5-35cm long and 0.7-0.9cm wide. The leaves are leathery and have five distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The peduncle is enclosed for ½ of its length by the subtending leaf. The peduncle is suberect to curved and measures 16.2-31cm long. The peduncle is quadrate in cross-section and finely setose. The rachis is nodding to pendent and measures 4.2-11.3cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 1.5-2mm apart. There are 3-6 appressed non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers are reddish-brown to cinnabar-red. Up to 40 flowers can grow on an inflorescence (Cootes 2001). The spotted yellow bract prevents the flower from opening properly. The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong and has a rounded apex. The dorsal sepal measures 3.3-3.7mm long. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are somewhat oblique, shaped nearly semiorbicular and have rounded to obtuse apices that are sometimes mucronate. The lateral sepals measure 2.4-2.6mm long and 2.7-3.5mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped obliquely oblong and have subacuminate to rounded apices. The petals measure 2.5-3mm long and 1.0-1.2mm wide. The petals are three veined and have entire margins. The labellum is porrect and is 3-lobed. The labellum measures 1.0-1.2mm long and 1.4-1.9mm wide. The labellum is obscurely three veined, glabrous and has entire margins although the side lobes are sometimes slightly dentate. The side lobes are erect, shaped falcately triangular and have acute apices. The side lobes are equal to or exceed the mid-lobe. The mid-lobe is shaped triangular and has an acute apex. There are two tiny calli located at the base of each side lobe that are shaped subconical, there is no median callus. The column is straight, bent forward distally and measures 0.7-0.8mm long. The column is hooded. Stelidia and column foot are absent.


Herbarium Specimens




Philippine National Herbarium, (PNH)


Specimen - destroyed



Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 72191.000




Specimen 98805 (photo) (specimen said to have come from the holotype)





I have not detected a scent. The Kew specimen states a faint scent of cucumber.


Flowering Season


In northern hemisphere cultivation this species flowers during the winter and spring. Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during September and from November to January.




This species is found in cultivation around the globe within specialist collections. I have seen plants in the USA, Australia, Brazil and Europe.


Plants have been known to be mistakenly imported from the Philippines as Dendrochilum arachnites 'red' or Dendrochilum wenzelii.


The leaves have a tendency to yellow and die. This could mean that the plant is sensitive to its environment. Water quality, air circulation and humidity will be needed.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum wenzelii

Dendrochilum banksii


Other Information


Oakes Ames wrote (1923) that the deeply saccate labellum makes this species unusual in the genus. Ames suggested an affinity to Acoridium (Dendrochilum) wenzelii. L.O. Williams wrote that this species is allied to Dendrochilum wenzelii, a statement which Henrik Pedersen agreed with. Pedersen also allied Dendrochilum saccolabium with Dendrochilum javierii.


At the time that Ames wrote his Schedulae Orchidianae (1923) he said that his knowledge of the plant came from cultivated material from Munich in Germany which was said to be from the type. From the text it appears that Schlechter sent Ames material.


The epithet refers to the labellum's sac like shape.


Reference -


AMES, Oakes. 1923, New and Noteworthy Orchids Central America and the Philippines, Schedulae Orchidianae, No 5. 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. 10 February 2008. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 10 February 2008.