Accepted name: Dendrochilum crassum Ridl., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 32: 288 (1896)

Subgenus – Dendrochilum.

text below the photos
 

 

 

 

 

This photo was taken by Malcolm Perry of a plant in the Hortus Botanicus, leiden. This photo is used with permission.

 

This photo was taken by Malcolm Perry of a plant in the Hortus Botanicus, leiden. This photo is used with permission.

 

This photo was taken by the late Jim Comber and bequeathed to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. The photo is reproduced with permission from the Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz. http://orchid.unibas.ch
This photo was taken by the late Jim Comber and bequeathed to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. The photo is reproduced with permission from the Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
This photo was taken by Malcolm Perry of a plant in the Hortus Botanicus, leiden. This photo is used with permission.
 
 

Synonyms

 

None

 

Origin in the Wild

 

Peninsula Malaysia and Sabah

 

Elevation in the Wild

 

400-1600 metres

 

Habitat in the Wild

 

The type was collected on Peninsula Malaysia at Perak on Hermitage Hill.

 

This species has also been collected in Sabah near Nabawan; on Mount Kinabalu in the Minitinduk Gorge; on Mount Trus Madi; on the Sinsuron road in Tambunan District; within the Crocker range on Mount Alab and along the Keningau to Kimanis road.

 

Jeffrey Wood described the habitat as sandstone and shale outcrops on roadsides. This species can be found growing terrestrially with Arundina graminifolia, Nepenthes fusca and other plants. This species can be found on cliffs exposed to bright and direct sun, in hill forest and dipterocarp forest (Wood 2001).

 

The Plants Description

 

This Dendrochilum can be found as a terrestrial, epiphyte or lithophyte. The rhizome is creeping, branching and grows to 60cm long. The rhizome is orange. The pseudobulbs are shaped cylindrical or fusiform. The pseudobulbs measure 3-4cm long and 0.5-0.8cm in diameter and are an olive green or orange colour. The pseudobulbs are more inclined to be orange when growing in bright light. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-6 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The cataphylls still enclose the pseudobulb at the time of flowering. The cataphylls are a dark brown colour and are sometimes speckled. The leaves are petiolate, the petiole measures 0.4-0.8cm long. The leaf blades are shaped oblong-elliptic to elliptic and have obtuse to acute apices. The blades measure 4-9.5cm long and 1.1-4cm wide. The blades have 7-9 distinct nerves.

 

The Inflorescence

 

The inflorescence is heteranthous. The peduncle is erect and measures 1.5-2cm long. The rachis is curved, arching or pendent and measures 8-16cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 2-3mm apart. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.

 

The Flowers

 

The flowers are apple-green to creamy white. The labellum is green and darkens towards its apex. The column is pale green and the anther cap is white. The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong and has an obtuse apex that is apiculate in its centre. The dorsal sepal measures 4.9-5mm long and 2mm wide. The dorsal sepal is incurved, minutely papillose, has entire margins and is 3 veined. The lateral sepals are shaped oblong and have obtuse apices that are apiculate in their centres. The lateral sepals measure 4-4.4mm long and 2mm wide. The lateral sepals are incurved, minutely papillose, have entire margins and are 3 veined. The petals are shaped oblong-spathulate, obovate and have obtuse apices that are apiculate in their centres. The petals measure 1-1.1mm long and 0.8-0.9mm wide. The petals have entire margins and are 1-veined. The petals are directed forward and hide the column. The labellum is entire and subpandurate. The labellum measures 2.0mm long, 1-1.1mm wide at its base and 0.8-0.9 wide at its apex. The labellum is shaped broadly ovate and has an obtuse apex that is apiculate in its centre. The margins on the labellum are entire. There are 2 keels that emerge from the base of the labellum and terminate midway. The column is gently curved and measures 1.8-1.9mm long. The apical hood is shaped oblong and has an obtuse apex and entire margin. The stelidia grow from just above the base of the column, are shaped lanceolate and falcate and have acute apices. The stelidia do not quite reach the column apex.

 

Herbarium Specimens

 

Holotype

 

Not located

 

 

Isotype

 

NA

 

 

Other herbarium specimens

 

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)

 

Specimen 50981.000

Specimen 61482.000

Specimen 50115.000

Specimen 54959.000

 

SING

 

National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)

 

Specimen L0322440

 

SAN

 

SAR

 

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (E)

 

C14753

 

Scent

 

Yes, a sweet scent.

 

Flowering Season

 

Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during March, April, May, June, October and December. I know of cultivated plants that have flowering during early summer in the northern hemisphere.

 

Culture

 

This species is very rare in cultivation but not unknown. The National Herbarium in the Netherlands, Leiden has a plant growing at the Hortus Botanicus.

 

Although I haven't grown any species from sub genus Dendrochilum all accounts say that this species should be mounted. This plant should never be allowed to dehydrate and moss around the roots will help avoid this. This plant also can be grown warm and intermediate in brighter light than some other Dendrochilum.

 

I have not heard of this species being grown indoors and would worry that humidity and air movement would not be sufficient if it were. If you are growing this species in a greenhouse place it in a very humid position where it won't dry out.

 

Similar Species

 

Dendrochilum pallidiflavens

Dendrochilum gravenhorstii

 

Other Information

 

This species differs from others in the subgenus by its strongly incurving sepals, the broad base of the labellum and the fleshy keels.

 

The epithet refers to the thick leathery leaves and fleshy flowers.

 

Reference -

 

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

 

World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 15 January 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/ accessed 15 January 2009.