Accepted name: Dendrochilum cornutum Blume, Bijdr.: 399 (1826).


Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Eurybrachium.




Platyclinis cornuta (Blume) Benth. ex Hemsl., Gard. Chron., n.s., 16: 656 (1881).

Acoridium cornutum (Blume) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).

Dendrochilum auritum Rchb.f., Bonplandia (Hannover) 4: 329 (1856).

Dendrochilum erosum Rchb.f. in W.G.Walpers, Ann. Bot. Syst. 6: 241 (1861).

Acoridium auritum (Rchb.f.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 219 (1904).

Acoridium erosum (Rchb.f.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).


Origin in the Wild






Elevation in the Wild


200-2,400 metres on Sumatra

900-2,400 metres on Java


Habitat in the Wild


This plant has been recorded as growing in humid and moist rainforest and in lower montane forest. Jim Comber wrote (Comber 2001) that this is a common plant on Java while there is only one record from Sumatra on Mount Penanggungan.


This species has been collected on Java on Gunung Salak, Gunung Gedeh, Pengalengan, Kandang Badak, Gunung Halimun, Lawao, Soerabaja, Garut, Gunung Pangrango, Malabar, Kalangan, Gunung Hijang.


This species was collected on Bali during October at 1750 meters on Gunung Batukaru (L! Specimen L0269559)


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs are an ovate shape and placed relatively close together; on my plant they are spaced up to 2.2cm apart. The leaf is petiolate; the petiole measures 1.2-3.0cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly lanceolate and measure 11.1-15.0cm long and 1.2-2.0cm wide. There are seven distinct veins on the leaf blade.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is erect to curved. The peduncle measurements on my plant are usually 6-7cm long. The rachis is pendent and on my plant measures 8-10.2cm long. The peduncle is free from the subtending leaf at the time of flowering. The flowers open from the proximal end of the rachis and from my experience during the night. There are no non-floriferous bracts on my plant but could be on others.


The Flowers


On my plants between 50 and 60 flowers grow on one inflorescence, the flowers are creamy white and pale green, most plants are a greenish colour but the colour and shade does vary. The labellum is flushed with yellow and the keels are a darker yellow green. The flowers stay open for approximately 3 weeks. The sepals are shaped lanceolate and have acute apices. The sepals measure 3.5mm long and 1mm wide. The petals are much the same but somewhat apiculate. The labellum is entire, its base quadrangular. There are 2 keels that join together at the base of the labellum. The apex of the labellum is shaped ovate and has an apiculate apex. The labellum measures 2.6mm long and 1.8mm wide. The column measures 1.8-2.0mm long, the apical hood is bi-dentate, the stelidia grow from above the base of the column. The stelidia are equal to or exceed the column apex.


Herbarium Specimens




National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0058452 (photo)






Other herbarium specimens


Kew Botanical Garden (K)


Specimen K000079159 (mixed sheet with Dendrochilum vaginatum) (photo)

Specimen K000079161 (photo)

Specimen 32912.000

Specimen 19468.000

Specimen K000364886

Specimen K000079160 (photo)


National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0269526

Specimen L0269527

Specimen L0269528

Specimen L0269529

Specimen L0269530

Specimen L0269531

Specimen L0269532

Specimen L0269533

Specimen L0269535

Specimen L0269537

Specimen L0269538

Specimen L0269539

Specimen L0269540

Specimen L0269541

Specimen L0269542

Specimen L0269544

Specimen L0269545

Specimen L0269546

Specimen L0269547

Specimen L0269548

Specimen L0269549

Specimen L0269550

Specimen L0269551

Specimen L0269552

Specimen L0269553

Specimen L0269554

Specimen L0269555

Specimen L0269556

Specimen L0269558

Specimen L0269559

Specimen L0269560

Specimen L0269561




This species has a sickly sweet scent during the day.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during May, June, July, October, November and December.


This plant flowers during summer and early autumn in northern hemisphere cultivation, it has also been known to flower at other times of the year.




This species is in cultivation.  I have seen plants in cultivation in Indonesia and Europe.


I have found from my experience that this species is not as easy to cultivate as some others. This plant needs very high humidity along with the air circulation. I have recently tried growing it potted but with a mossy pole to climb up.


This species will quickly become a specimen plant if given the right culture.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum dentiferum (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum fuscescens (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum ophiopogonoides (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum rigidulum (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum ramosissimum (see this page for the differences)


Additional Comments


Some of the measurements given above have been taken from my own cultivated plants.


Jim Comber wrote that this species had a single collection in Borneo by J.J. Smith. J.J. Smith excluded Borneo in his 1933 enumeration of Sumatran orchids (Comber 2001). Jeffrey Wood agreed with J.J. Smith's 1933 enumeration (Wood 2001). The record from Borneo is now generally discredited.


Do not trust many internet photos labelled as this species even from well known sites and photographers. I have even seen Dendrochilum cobbianum and Dendrochilum glumaceum labelled as this species. I have also seen plants incorrectly labelled as this species sold by European nurseries and on e-bay; again they are usually D. cobbianum and D. glumaceum.


Reference -


BLUME,  C.L. 1825, Bijdragen tot de Flora van Nederlandsch Indië,


COMBER, J.B. Orchids of Java, 1990, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK


COMBER, J.B. Orchids of Sumatra, 2001, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew


PEDERSEN, Henrik. 1995, Thirteen new species of Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae), a new record from Burma, and a checklist of the genus in East Malesia. Nord. J. Bot 15:381-402. Copenhagen, Denmark.


WOOD, Jeffrey. Dendrochilum of Borneo, 2001. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Malaysia.


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 28 August 2007. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 28 August 2007.