Accepted name: Dendrochilum scriptum Carr, Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 8: 234 (1935)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Eurybrachium.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


2600-3200 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species is endemic to Mount Kinabalu. Collections have been made above Kemburongoh near Kadamaian. This plant is a twig epiphyte of open canopy in upper montane forest and scrub on ultramafic substrate. This species is also found as a riverine species on mossy branches overhanging water and on boulders adjacent to and in rivers.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster along a shortly creeping rhizome. The pseudobulbs are coloured red and are shaped narrowly ovoid. The pseudobulbs measure 1.5-2.5cm long and 0.4-0.7cm 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 1.6-3cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly ligulate-elliptic and have shortly acute, obtuse or minutely cuspidate apices. The leaf blades measure 5.5-13cm long and 0.7-1.1cm wide. The leaves have 5 or 6 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The peduncle is erect and measures up to 6cm long. The rachis is pendent and measures up to 8.5cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 2-2.5mm apart. There are no non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers are non-resupinate. The sepals and petals are a salmon-pink, ochre or orange. The labellum is either salmon-pink or reddish-brown with paler keels. The column is dark reddish-brown and the anther cap is a cream colour (Wood 2001). The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong-elliptic and has an obtuse or subacute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 3mm long and 2mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped falcate-ovate and have obtuse or acute apices. The lateral sepals measure 3mm long and 2.5-3mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are three veined. The petals are shaped oblong and have obtuse apices. The petals measure 3-1.7mm long and 1-2.5mm wide. The petals have entire margins and are 1-3 veined. The labellum is entire and shaped transversely oblong with a shallowly retuse apex. The labellum measures 1.8mm long and 2.7mm wide. There are two raised keels that are shaped ear like or like an M shape. The column measures 1mm long. The apical hood is shaped shortly triangular and has an obtuse apex. The stelidia grow from the base of the column and are equal is length to the column apex. The stelidia are shaped broadly elliptic and have obtuse apices.


Herbarium Specimens












Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen K000078233

Specimen 60748.000 (unknown type material)

Specimen K000078230

Specimen 61504.000

Specimen K000078231

Specimen K000078232 (drawing)




Yes, a musty scent that can smell like over ripe fruit.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during March and July.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum pseudoscriptum


Other Information


Until recently this species was little known and the only collection was the holotype. This species is reported to be abundant in favoured habitat on Mount Kinabalu.


The rarer of the two colour forms is the flower with the yellow sepals, petals and orange labellum (Wood 1997).




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. 08 March 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 08 March 2009.