Accepted name: Dendrochilum cinnabarinum Pfitzer in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr., IV, 50 II B 7: 104 (1907)

Subgenus – Acoridium. Section – Convoluta.



This drawing is from Ames Facsimile 3. The plant drawn as 2 and B is Dendrochilum cinnabarinum var. cinnabarinum, the other drawing is of Dendrochilum loheri.





Acoridium cinnabarinum (Pfitzer) Ames, Orchidaceae 7: 80 (1922).


Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


1980-2040 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been recorded as an epiphyte in mossy forest. Plants have been collected from Benguet Province on Mount Data, Mount Pulog and Mount Simakoko.


Ames wrote that this plant had been found in mossy forest and in hardwood forest growing on a tree.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on the short rhizome and are shaped fusiform. The pseudobulbs measure 0.7-1.8cm long and 0.2-0.4cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 3-5 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls soon disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 0.2-5.1cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly linear to linear-lanceolate and have acute apices. The leaf blades measure 4-11.1cm long and 0.2-0.6cm wide. The leaf blades have 3 distinct nerves; the 2 lateral nerves are 0.5-1mm from the leaf margin.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is suberect to curved and measures 3.7-14.4cm long. The rachis is nodding and measures 1.5-7.2cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 3-5mm apart. There is 1 appressed non-floriferous bract at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


Loher's notes state that the flowers are orange-red when they are dry and cinnabar when not (Ames 1908). Ames in his Orchidaceae Facsimile 6 gave 2 accounts of the colour which were coral-red and blood-red. Henrik Pedersen described the flowers as orange (Pedersen 1997). Pedersen wrote that between 5 and 16 flowers grow on an inflorescence. The sepals and petals open widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped ovate and has an obtuse apex. The dorsal sepal measures 3.5-5.3mm long and 1.8-2.6mm wide. The dorsal sepal is 3 veined and has entire margins. The lateral sepals are shaped broadly and obliquely ovate with rounded to obtuse apices. The lateral sepals measure 3.0-4.3mm long and 2.5-3.2mm wide. The lateral sepals are 3 veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped obliquely elliptic-trulliform and have subacuminate apices. The petals measure 3.0-4.5mm long and 1.9-2.8mm wide. The petals are 3 veined and have entire margins. The labellum is porrect and 3-lobed. The labellum measures 1.2-1.8mm long and 2.1-2.4mm wide. The labellum is obscurely 1-3-veined, glabrous and has entire margins. The side lobes are spreading and shaped obliquely to falcately oblong with obtuse apices. The side lobes contain a few ocelli. The mid-lobe is shaped cuneate to elliptic and has an obtuse to acute apex. The mid-lobe is slightly auriculate at its base. There are 3 calli located at the centre of the disc, the calli are situated side by side and are oblongoid. The column is suberect to slightly incurved. The column measures 0.7-0.9mm long. The column is slightly hooded at its apex. Stelidia and column foot are absent.


Herbarium Specimens




Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


I could not locate the specimen








Other herbarium specimens


National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0322420




Specimen 18864 (photo)




I could find no record.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during October and January.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum cinnabarinum var sanguineum

Dendrochilum turpe


Other Information


When Pfitzer originally described this species he made errors in the drawing and description. Ames wrote that he assumed that Pfitzer mistook the small side lobes for stelidia when he described this species. Pfitzer therefore originally placed this species in section Platyclinis based on having stelidia, which it does not.


Ames wrote that there was a second collection on Mount Pulog at 2040 metres during  the month of January (Ames 1909).


Henrik Pedersen grouped this species with Dendrochilum curranii, Dendrochilum tenuifolium and especially Dendrochilum turpe to which Pedersen thought it was closest to.


Reference -


AMES, Oakes. 1908, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 3, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


AMES, Oakes. 1909, Notes on the Philippine Orchids with Descriptions of New Species, Philippine Journal of Science, Manila, Philippines.


AMES, Oakes. 1920, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 6 The Orchids of Mount Kinabalu British North Borneo, 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. 18 January 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 18 January 2009.