Accepted name: Dendrochilum tenuitepalum J.J.Wood in J.J.Wood & P.J.Cribb, Check-list Orchids Borneo: 195 (1994)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


1600 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has only been collected from Sabah’s Sipitang District where it was found along a ridge between the Maga River headwaters and the Malabid River headwaters.


The habitat has been described as open low mossy forest (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster together on a branching rhizome that can grow to c4cm long. The pseudobulbs are positioned at an acute angle to the rhizome, shaped ovate-elliptic or oblong-elliptic and measure 1.0-1.8cm long and 0.4-0.6cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 2.5-5.0cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear, ligulate and have obtuse and mucronate or apiculate apices. The leaf blades measure 10.5-21.5cm long and 0.4-0.6cm wide. The leaves are thinly coriaceous.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is erect to gently curved and measures 6.0-9.0cm long. The rachis is gently curved and measures 14.0-18.0cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 3.0-4.0mm apart. There are no non floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers are a pale green colour (Wood 2001). The sepals and petals spread widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped narrowly triangular-lanceolate and has an acuminate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 6.0-6.5mm long and 0.8-0.9mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped narrowly triangular-lanceolate, somewhat falcate and have acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 7.0-7.1mm long and 1.0-1.1mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped linear, ligulate and have acuminate apices. The petals measure 7.0-7.1mm long and 1.0mm wide. The petals are three veined and have entire margins. The labellum is stipitate to the column foot by a short foot, 3 veined and entire. The labellum measures 2.8mm long and 1.0mm wide. The labellum is shaped ovate-elliptic and has an acute apex. The labellum is minutely papillose and has a basally erect and an irregular margin. There are two low keels that are not joined basally. The keels terminate at the middle of the labellum or just beyond. The column is gently incurved and measures 2mm long. The column foot is small. The apical hood is elongated, shaped ovate-oblong with an obtuse apex that has an irregularly toothed margin. The stelidia grow upwards from below the middle of the column and slightly exceed the column apex. The stelidia are shaped oblong, ligulate with obtuse to subacute apices.


Herbarium Specimens




National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0052487





Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen K000079137 (photo)

Specimen 60760.000



Other herbarium specimens








Flowering Season


This species, which has only been collected once, was collected in flower during December.




I do not think this species is in cultivation.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum mucronatum


Other Information


This species is similar to Dendrochilum mucronatum and differs by its longer and narrower sepals and petals, non erose petals, entire labellum, papillae on the labellum.


The epithet refers to the long and narrow sepals and petals.




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. 24 July 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 24 July 2009.