Accepted name: Dendrochilum turpe (Ames) Pfitzer in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr., IV, 50 II B 7: 118 (1907)

Subgenus – Acoridium. Section – Convoluta.




Acoridium turpe Ames, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 19: 149 (1906).


Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


2,060-2,400 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species is an epiphyte. E.D. Merrill found it growing in mossy forest between Suyoc and Panai in Benguet Province (no 4758). There is a record of the plant being found in primary forest on sandy-loamy soil.


This species has been collected on Mount Pulog, Mount Pulogloco, Mount Simakoko and Mount Tabayoc in Benguet Province. In Ifugao Province on Mount Himi-o, Mount Pimmage and Mount Polis.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on the short rhizome and are shaped fusiform to ellipsoid. The pseudobulbs measure 1.8-3.4cm long and 0.3-0.9cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-6 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 4.1-14cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear-lanceolate and have acuminate apices. The leaf blades measure 9.7-22.7cm long and 1.0-2.0cm wide. The leaves have 3-5 distinct nerves, the two lateral nerves are 0.5mm from the leaf margin.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is suberect to slightly curved and measures 8.8-24.7cm long. The rachis is nodding and measures 3.0-6.3cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 2-3mm apart. The rachis is spirally twisted and appears cylindrical. There are 1-5 appressed non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis. Flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


Ames described the colour as yellowish (Ames 1908), Henrik Pedersen described the colour as pure yellow to light brown (Pedersen 1997). The sepals and petals open widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped ovate and has an obtuse apex. The dorsal sepal measures 3.6-4.3mm long and 2.3-2.8mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped broadly and obliquely ovate and have obtuse to subacute apices. The lateral sepals measure 3.1-3.9mm long and 2.4-3.3mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped obliquely ovate and have obtuse to subacute apices. The petals measure 3.3-3.9mm long and 2.4-3.3mm wide. The petals are three veined and have entire margins. The labellum is porrect and entire. The labellum measures 1.2-1.8mm long and 2.1-2.4mm wide. The labellum is obscurely three veined, glabrous and has an entire margin. The labellum is shaped reniform and has a rounded to subacute apex. The labellum is concave at its base and obscurely auriculate. There are two calli located at the base of the hypochile and along the basal margin, the median callus is located just in front of the margin in the centre of the hypochile. The column is straight to somewhat clavate and measures 0.9-1.3mm long. Stelidia and column foot are absent.


Herbarium Specimens




Philippine National Herbarium (PNH)


Specimen - destroyed







Specimen 61 (photo)


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


I could not locate the specimen





Other herbarium specimens


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0322800

Specimen L0322802

Specimen L0322803




Ames wrote that the flowers do not have a scent.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from February to April and from September to December.




I do not think this species is in cultivation.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum cinnabarinum

Dendrochilum croceum (please see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum tenuifolium


Other Information


Ames and L.O. Williams grouped this species with D. pumilum, parvulum, rhombophorum, philippinense and marginatum. Henrik Pedersen disagreed and grouped this species with others in section Convoluta based on their narrow lanceolate acute leaves and inflorescences that open from their proximal end. The species that Pedersen grouped with Dendrochilum turpe are, D cinnabarinum, D. curranii and D. tenuifolium. Pedersen speculated if D. oreophilum and D. reniforme should be included in the D. turpe group (Pedersen 1997).


Reference -


AMES, Oakes. 1908, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 2, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 17 January 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 17 January 2009.