Accepted name: Dendrochilum simile Blume, Bijdr.: 400 (1825)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.


The text is below the photos.


This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.
This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.



Acoridium simile (Blume) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).

Platyclinis linearis Ridl., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 32: 230 (1896).

Acoridium lineare (Ridl.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).

Dendrochilum lineare (Ridl.) Holttum, Gard. Bull. Singapore 11: 280 (1947).


Origin in the Wild


Sumatra, Java, Flores, Peninsula Malaysia and Sumbawa


Elevation in the Wild


1275-1900 metres on Sumatra

1000-1650 metres on Java


Habitat in the Wild


On Sumatra this species has been recorded from Aceh Province at Pucuk, Angasan, the Gayo Highlands and Air Sirah above Padang. Jim Comber wrote that Dendrochilum lineare (now considered a synonym) was found in Aceh Province on Bur ni Telong where it grew on lava rocks and on Penosan, also in Aceh Province (Comber 2001).


On the Peninsula Malaysia this species has been collected on Mount Padang.


On Flores this species has been collected at Golo Mépés


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs crowd together along a rhizome and are shaped ovoid. The pseudobulbs measure 3.5-6.0cm long and 1.5cm in diameter. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 4-8cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear-lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate. The leaf blades measure 30-35cm long and 2.5-4.0cm wide.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and grows at the same time as the leaves and before the pseudobulb matures. The inflorescence measures approximately 40cm long. The peduncle is suberect to nodding. The rachis is arching to pendent.


The Flowers


On my plants approximately 35 flowers grow on an inflorescence, Cootes and Banks wrote that up to 40 flowers can grow on an inflorescence (Cootes et al 1995). The colour is pale green with pale brown on the labellum. The sepals are shaped lanceolate and measure 6mm long and 1.5mm wide. The labellum is entire and recurved 180 degrees. The labellum is shaped lanceolate and has an acute apex. The labellum measures 4mm long and 1.2mm wide. There are two lateral keels and a faint median keel in between. The column is short. The apical hood is tridentate; the middle dentate is smaller than the two outermost ones. The stelidia grow from below the middle of the column and do not reach the apical hood. The stelidia are shaped lanceolate and have acute bilobed apices.


Herbarium Specimens




Not known



Other herbarium specimens


National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0322544 (Dendrochilum lineare)

Specimen L0322545 (Dendrochilum lineare)

Specimen L0322730

Specimen L0322731

Specimen L0322732

Specimen L0322733

Specimen L0322734


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 49425.000

Specimen 73502.000

Specimen 62073.000




Yes a very nice and pleasing sweet scent.


Flowering Season


This species flowers during the summer in the northern hemisphere. New growths begin in the late winter-early spring. Flowering occurs during the summer in Australian collections (Cootes et al 1995).


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild in Sumatra during March, September and November.


Flowering plants have been collected on Flores during September.


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild in Java during October.


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild on Peninsula Malaysia during June.




This species is found in cultivation globally, although not common. I have seen authentic plants in cultivation in Malaysia, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom. This species produces aerial roots so should be given high humidity with good air circulation.


Similar species


Dendrochilum odoratum

Dendrochilum beccarii (see this page for differences)

Dendrochilum duplicibrachium

Dendrochilum stenochilum (see this page for differences)

Dendrochilum insectiferum (see this page for differences)

Dendrochilum johannis-winkleri

Dendrochilum planiscapum


Other Information


Jim Comber wrote that this species is not as common on Sumatra as it is on Java. On Java this species is common over most of the island particularly in the east. The plants grow as epiphytes in exposed conditions in humid and dry forest (Comber 1990).


Jeffrey Wood wrote (Wood 2001 p177) that Dendrochilum planiscapum is probably most closely related to Dendrochilum odoratum and Dendrochilum simile.


Jeffrey Wood wrote (Wood et al) that a sketch of this species in the Kew herbarium and labelled with a provenance of Sarawak; is probably Dendrochilum havilandii.


The epithet refers to the similarity to Dendrochilum cornutum (Cootes et al 1995).


Reference -


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


COMBER, J.B. Orchids of Java, 1990, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK


COMBER, J.B. Orchids of Sumatra, 2001, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew


PEDERSEN, Henrik. 1995, Thirteen new species of Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae), a new record from Burma, and a checklist of the genus in East Malesia. Nord. J. Bot 15:381-402. Copenhagen, Denmark.


REICHENBACH.1857, Bonplandia (Hannover) 5: 43


WOOD, Jeffrey. Dendrochilum of Borneo, 2001. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Malaysia.


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 17 November 2008. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 17 November 2008.