Accepted name: Dendrochilum yuccaefolium L.O.Williams, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 5: 53 (1937).

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.







Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


Above 500 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been collected in Rizal province at Paningtingan near Montalban.


Jim Cootes wrote "It grows as an epiphyte at elevations over 500 metres on the trunks and lower branches of trees in areas of good air movement and high constant humidity" (Cootes 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster along short rhizomes and are shaped fusiform. The pseudobulbs measure 3.0-7.0cm long and 0.4-1.1cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered with 4-5 cataphylls when they are growing; the cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 2.4-6.5cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly linear and have acute apices. The leaf margins are slightly revolute. The leaf blades measure 14.2-25.5cm long and 0.8-1.3cm wide. The leaves are rigid, dark green and have 8-15 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and appears with the new growth. The peduncle is suberect and measures 3.9-7.3cm long. The peduncle is finely setose to nearly glabrous. The rachis is suberect to nodding and measures 7.1-11.8cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 1.5-2.0mm apart. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers are white. Up to 30 flowers grow on an inflorescence (Cootes 2001). The sepals and petals spread widely and have a few minute trichomes on their proximal parts. The dorsal sepal is shaped linear and has an acute to somewhat acuminate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 5.9-8.0mm long and 1.2-1.6mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has a quite entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped linear and have acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 6.2-9.2mm long and 1.2-1.6mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have quite entire margins. The petals are shaped linear and have acute to acuminate apices. The petals measure 4.9-6.6mm long and 1.0-1.6mm wide. The petals are three veined and have quite entire margins. The labellum is easily versatile, porrect and entire. The labellum measures 2.2-3.1mm long and 1.2-1.7mm wide. The labellum is three veined and has a quite entire to slightly irregular margin. The labellum is shaped narrowly ovate-oblong and has an obtuse apex. There are two short keels that are located along the lateral veins in the proximal section. The column is suberect, slightly incurved and measures 2.0-2.7mm long. The apical wing is prolonged into a rounded to truncate apex with an irregularly dentate margin. The apical wing distinctly exceeds the anther cap. The column foot is short. The stelidia grow upwards from the middle of the column and are slightly shorter than the column apex; the stelidia reach the anther cap. The stelidia are suberect and often slightly incurved. The stelidia are shaped obliquely to falcately triangular-oblong and have acuminate to obtuse apices.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 18851 (photo)





Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


I could not locate the specimen



Other herbarium specimens


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 63691

Specimen 54453

Specimen K000364875




Yes, a sweet scent. I have read at least once on orchid forums that there is no scent.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during January and September. Cultivated plants have been known to flower from late winter to spring in the northern hemisphere. In Australia plants flower during the autumn (Cootes et al 1995).




This species is found in cultivation globally and although not always offered for sale it is in specialist collections. I have seen plants in the USA, Europe, Brazil, the Philippines and Australia.


Similar Species




Other Information


Pedersen wrote (1997) that there are no close relatives of Dendrochilum yuccaefolium although the rigid leaves bear a resemblance to Dendrochilum cymbiforme. Pedersen went on to mention that the floral morphology, particularly the labellum and column, bears an affinity to non-Philippine species such as Dendrochilum beccarii, Dendrochilum simile and Dendrochilum odoratum. L.O. Williams suggested a relationship between Dendrochilum yuccaefolium and Dendrochilum simile.


This species is spelt incorrectly on the Kew monocotyledon list, it is spelt Dendrochilum yuccifolium.


The epithet refers to the yucca like leaves.


Reference -


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


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


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 27 July 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 27 July 2009.