Accepted name: Dendrochilum cruciforme var. longicuspe J.J.Wood in J.J.Wood & P.J.Cribb, Check-list Orchids Borneo: 170 (1994).

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Cruciformia.






Origin in the Wild




Elevation in the Wild


1980-2500 metres


Habitat in the Wild


Jeffrey Wood wrote that this species has been collected on Mount Kinabalu. The habitat has been recorded as upper montane mossy forest. This plant can be encountered on the Kinabalu summit trail just below Layang Layang (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on a short rhizome. The pseudobulbs are shaped cylindrical or narrowly fusiform. The pseudobulbs measure 0.5-2.5cm long and 0.2-0.4cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 3-4 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into non-persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 0.5-2cm long. The leaf blades are shaped narrowly linear and have subacute to acute apices. The leaf blades measure 5-11.5cm long and 0.1-0.3cm wide.


The Inflorescence


The peduncle is erect and measures 2.5-6.5cm long. The rachis is erect or suberect and measures 3.5-5cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 1-2mm apart. There are no non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers are variable and the following colours have been described, pinkish cream with purple spots, pale yellow, cream-green, cream-yellow, cream or pure white. The labellum generally has a dark coloured blotch at the base of the side lobes and at the apex of the keels. The dorsal sepal is shaped oblong-elliptic and has an acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 2.2-2.6mm long and 0.6-0.9mm wide. The dorsal sepal has entire margins and is 1-veined. The lateral sepals are shaped ovate-elliptic and have acute apices. The lateral sepals measure 2.1-2.5mm long and 0.8-1mm wide. The lateral sepals have entire margins and are 1-veined. The petals are shaped narrowly elliptic and have acute apices. The petals measure 2-2.6mm long and 0.4-0.7mm wide. The petals have entire margins and are 1-veined. The labellum is cruciform and measures 2-2.5mm long and 1.5-2mm at its widest point. The side lobes are shaped triangular, somewhat falcate and have acute or subacute apices. The mid-lobe is shaped triangular-acuminate and measures up to 1mm long. The margins on the labellum are entire. There are 2 elevated keels that nearly join at the base of the hypochile and terminate before the base of the side lobes. The column is 1-1.2mm long. The apical hood is elongated, has an acute apex with a bidentate or tridentate margin. The stelidia grow from the base of the column and are shaped linear-ligulate with obtuse apices. The stelidia measure 0.9-2mm long. The stelidia are slightly longer than or equal to the apical hood.


Herbarium Specimens




Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)

Specimen 53425.000

Specimen K000078176

Specimen K000078175 (photo)










According to Bacon the flowers at species level have a musky scent. Jeffrey Wood wrote (Wood 1997) that the flowers are unscented.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during August.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum cruciforme var. cruciforme

Dendrochilum hastilobum

Dendrochilum dolichobrachium

Dendrochilum devogelii


Other Information


I am using the name that Jeffrey Wood described in the Dendrochilum of Borneo. Kew’s list of Monocotyledons list this species as Dendrochilum cruciforme var. longicuspum, the name it was given when first described by Jeffrey Wood and Phillip Cribb in 1994’s Checklist of the Orchids of Borneo .


D. cruciforme var cruciforme differs from var. longicuspe because the mid lobe is triangular-acuminate and cuspidate rather than long-acuminate. On var longicuspe the mid-lobe is longer and more pointed at its apex. The side lobes on var longicuspe are narrower and shaped somewhat falcate and the stelidia are longer than the apical hood.


The epithet refers to the cross or cruciform shaped labellum and longicuspe refers to the sharp point at the apex of the mid-lobe.




WOOD, Jeffrey. 1997, Orchids of Borneo volume 3. The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 15 February 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 15 February 2009.