Accepted name: Dendrochilum dewindtianum W.W.Sm., Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 8: 321 (1915)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.





Dendrochilum lobongense Ames, Orchidaceae 6: 59 (1920).

Dendrochilum perspicabile Ames, Orchidaceae 6: 62 (1920).

Dendrochilum furfuraceum J.J.Sm., Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, III, 5: 55 (1922).

Dendrochilum dewindtianum var. sarawakense Carrière, Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 8: 83 (1935).


Jim Comber called the Sumatran population Dendrochilum dewindtianum var. dewindtianum in the Orchids of Sumatra.


Origin in the Wild


Sarawak, Sabah and Sumatra


Elevation in the Wild


900-950 metres – Sumatra

700-3048 metres – Borneo (700-2400 metres in Sarawak)


Habitat in the Wild


The type specimen was found on Mount Kinabalu. Plants on Mount Kinabalu have been found along the Mesilau trail beyond the junction at Layang Layang; Ranau summit trail above Kamborangoh; Marai Parai Spur and Gurulau Spur. A plant has been collected on the summit of Mount Trus Madi. Another specimen has been collected on Mount Alab on the south ridge heading toward the summit.


Within Sarawak this species has been collected on Mount Murud along the summit ridge and on Mount Dulit. A Kew specimen was collected amongst moss on a tree trunk.


On Sumatra this species was collected in West Sumatra at Brani, Agam at 900-950 metres. Jim Comber wrote that further Sumatran specimens have not been found (Comber 2001).


Jeffrey Wood described that habitat as lower montane forest, upper montane forest and scrub with most plants collected on ultramafic substrate (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster together on a short and branching rhizome; the pseudobulbs are spaced 1cm apart. The pseudobulbs are shaped ovoid-oblong to globose-ovoid and measure 0.8-4.5cm long and 0.5-1.5cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-5 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls disintegrate into fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 0.4-5.5cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear to oblong, oblong-elliptic or lanceolate and have acute to obtuse, mucronate apices. The leaf blades measure 3.0-18.5cm long and 0.6-3.8cm wide. The leaf blades are either rigidly coriaceous or thinly coriaceous and have 7-8 distinct nerves along their length.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and appears from the pseudobulbs before they have fully developed and at the same time as the leaves. The inflorescence is covered by small black trichomes. The peduncle is erect and measures 3.0-19.5cm long. The rachis is flattened, erect and measures 10-27cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross-section. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 0.3-6.5mm apart. There are no non floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flowers are pale yellow (Comber 2001), lemon-yellow or yellowish-green (Wood 2001). The Kew specimen K000078900 states that the flowers were white. The dorsal sepal is shaped ovate-oblong or oblong-elliptic and has an acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures c7mm long and c3.2mm wide. The dorsal sepal is 3-veined and has minute trichomes sparingly placed. The lateral sepals are shaped obliquely ovate-oblong, oblong-elliptic, subfalcate and have acute apices that are apiculate in their centres. The lateral sepals measure 6.0-8.0mm long and 2.0-3.0mm wide. The lateral sepals are 3-veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped obliquely elliptic, oblong-elliptic or oblong-ovate and have obtuse to shortly acuminate apices. The petals measure 6.0-8.0mm long and 2.0-3.0mm wide. The petals are incurved, 3-veined and have almost entire margins. The labellum is 3-nerved, 3-lobed, recurved above its base and not firmly attached to the column. The labellum measures 5.0-7.0mm long and 3.0-4.5mm wide. The side lobes are short and are shaped narrowly triangular to subulate, often somewhat falcate with acute or obtuse apices. The side lobe margins are entire, minutely erose or have irregular teeth. The mid-lobe is shaped broadly ovate, obovate or ovate-rhomboid and has an acute or rounded apex. The margins of the mid-lobe are minutely crenate or slightly erose. The mid-lobe sometimes has a minute tooth on each side at the base. There are two prominent keels than terminate on the mid-lobe, the keels are joined at the base. There is a non elevated median nerve the joins the keels basally to form an M shape. The column is incurved and measures 4.0-5.0mm long. The column foot is prominent. The apical hood is elongated, shaped either oblong-elliptic with an acute apex or shaped oblong with a truncate apex that is shortly toothed. The stelidia grow from below the middle of the column and do not reach the column apex. The stelidia are shaped narrowly triangular, linear-subulate and have acute or obtuse apices.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 20263 (photo) (Dendrochilum lobongense)


Royal Botanic gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen K000078905 (photo)

Specimen K000078904 (photo) (Drawing of Dendrochilum lobongense)






Specimen 98792 (photo) (Dendrochilum perspicabile)

Specimen 98791 (photo) (Dendrochilum perspicabile)




Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen K000078896 (photo) (Dendrochilum dewindtianum var. sarawakense)

Specimen K000078900 (photo - paratype)

Specimen K000078901 (photo - paratype)

Specimen K000078899 (photo - paratype)

Specimen K000078903 (Photo) (Dendrochilum perspicabile)

Specimen K000078895 (photo - Isosyntype) (Dendrochilum dewindtianum var. sarawakense)

Specimen K000078897 (photo - Isosyntype) (Dendrochilum dewindtianum var. sarawakense)

Specimen K000078902 (Photo) (Dendrochilum perspicabile)


New York Botanical garden (NY)


Specimen 8744 (Photo) (Dendrochilum perspicabile)


National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0058438 (Photo) (Dendrochilum furfuraceum)


Other herbarium specimens


National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0322449

Specimen L0322450

Specimen L0322451

Specimen L0322452

Specimen L0322453

Specimen L0322454


Royal Botanic gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 62366.000

Specimen 61404.000

Specimen 61491.000

Specimen 50065.000

Specimen 60410.000

Specimen 24051.000

Specimen K000078898 (photo)




Specimen 98793 (drawing of the type) (Dendrochilum perspicabile)




A slight sweet scent or no scent (Comber 2001). A strong sweet scent (Wood 2001).


Flowering Season


Within Sabah flowering plants have been collected in all months except February and April. In Sarawak plants have been collected during April, August and October. In Sumatra flowering plants have been collected during June.




I do not think this species is in cultivation.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum longifolium

Dendrochilum oxylobum

Dendrochilum crassifolium (see this page fore the differences)

Dendrochilum leuserense (see this page fore the differences)

Dendrochilum lumakuense (see this page fore the differences)


Other Information


J.J. Smith described the Sumatran population as Dendrochilum furfuraceum, now considered a synonym. J.J. Smith compared the plant to Dendrochilum longifolium but wrote that it differs by its shorter pseudobulbs, black spotted cataphylls, hairy inflorescence, and shorter side lobes.


When Ames described Dendrochilum lobongense he wrote that it is a near ally of Dendrochilum oxylobum and differed by the detail of the flower. Ames described this plant from material that was an immature pseudobulb with its leaf still subtending.


The notes attached to the Kew specimen K000078902, Dendrochilum perspicabile, state that the plant is similar to Dendrochilum dewindtianum but differs because it lacks basal papilliae, shorter and less prominent keels, less developed side lobes, longer and wider leaves. Jeffrey Wood added Dendrochilum perspicabile as a synonym to Dendrochilum dewindtianum during July 2009.


Borneo plants seem to have smaller proportions than the Sumatran species. I have not separated out the measurements but included them all together.


Jeffrey Wood wrote that the white flowered form was collected above Kemburongh at 2200 metres on Mount Kinabalu (Wood 2001).


Jeffrey Wood wrote “A small plant, referred by Carr under D. dewindtianum as var sarawakense, is very similar to plants referred to D. perspicicabile by Ames and may represent a dwarf ecotype. The lateral keels on the labellum sometimes have small retrorse basal teeth similar to those found, for example, in D. crassifolium.”


The epithet refers to the Ranee of Sarawak, Margaret Lili Alice de Windt.




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.


BEAMAN, Teofila, WOOD, Jeffrey, BEAMAN, Reed, BEAMAN, John. 2001, Orchids of Sarawak, Natural History Publications Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


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


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


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 09 January 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 09 January 2009.