Accepted name: Dendrochilum smithianum (Ames) L.O.Williams, Philipp. J. Sci. 80: 311 (1952)

Subgenus – Acoridium. Section – Heterantha.

This drawing is by Trey Sanders and was taken from Henrik Pedersen's.



Acoridium smithianum Ames, Blumea, Suppl. 1: 74 (1937).


Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


About 500 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been collected in Rizal Province at Montalban; this species has also been recorded within the Aurora and Quezon Provinces.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster along a short rhizome. The pseudobulbs are shaped fusiform or elliptical. The pseudobulbs measure 2.9-4.1cm long and 0.3-1.2cm wide. The leaf is petiolate, the petiole measures 0.2-1.3cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear-lanceolate and have acute to obtuse apices. The leaf blades measure 5.9-12.5cm long and 1-2.3cm wide. There are three distinct nerves on the leaf; the two outermost nerves are marginal. The leaf is conduplicate.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is heteranthous. The peduncle is suberect to curved, 2-10.1cm long. The rachis is pendent and has distichously alternating flowers, 2.9-8.7cm long. The flowers are spaced 1-2mm apart. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis. There are 1-2 appressed non-floriferous bracts.


The Flowers


The flowers are coloured a pale yellow to cream and have a pink labellum, the tepals open widely, up to 30 flowers grow on an inflorescence. The dorsal sepal is shaped linear-lanceolate and has an obtuse apex. The dorsal sepal measures 4.2-4.3mm long and 1.4-1.5mm wide. The dorsal sepal has an entire margin and is three veined. The lateral sepals are shaped lanceolate and have sub-acute apices. The laterals sepals measure 4.8-4.9mm long and 1.8-1.9mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are three veined. The petals are shaped oblanceolate-spathulate and have obtuse apices. The petals measure 3.6-3.9mm long and c1.6mm wide. The petals have erose-fimbriate margins and are three veined. The labellum is porrect and 3-lobed. The labellum measures 1.9-2mm long and 1.7-1.9mm wide. The lateral margins on the side lobes incurve; the side lobes are shaped falcately linear and have subacute-caudate apices. The side lobes exceed the mid-lobe. There are lateral calli located at the base of the side lobes. The mid-lobe is shaped broadly cuneate-quadrate and has a rounded apex sometimes minutely apiculate. The column is suberect, slightly incurved and measures 0.4-0.6mm long. There is no hood at the column's apex. The anther cap is shaped elliptic-oblong from an upper view and rounded to truncate from the front.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 56 (photo)



Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 60102.000

Specimen 71544.000

Specimen 62662.000






Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during January and May. Plants Flower in northern hemisphere during spring.




This species is in cultivation globally. Plants are often confused with Dendrochilum pulcherrimum.


New growths can be prone to rot so make sure air flow is always constant. I have grown this species in more shade than others of the genus. Plants can be susceptible to false red spider mite.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum pulcherrimum


Other Information


This species differs from Dendrochilum pulcherrimum mainly by its labellum; the drawing of the labellum, above, will show the differences. The side lobes of Dendrochilum smithianum are twice as long as the mid lobe and a median callus is absent. The colour of Dendrochilum smithianum is generally paler than Dendrochilum pulcherrimum, which is inclined to be more orange. The Dendrochilum smithianum flowers open more widely and the inflorescences are longer. The apices of the tepals do not incurve as in Dendrochilum pulcherrimum. The sepals and petals of Dendrochilum pulcherrimum have three veins rather than one vein found on Dendrochilum smithianum.


Reference -


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


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


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