Accepted name: Dendrochilum filiforme Lindl., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 26(Misc.): 52 (1840)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.




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

Acoridium filiforme (Lindl.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).

Dendrochilum ramosii Ames, Philipp. J. Sci., C 8: 410 (1913 publ. 1914).

Dendrochilum filiforme var. ramosii (Ames) L.O.Williams, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 5: 49 (1937).


Origin in the Wild


Luzon and Visayas


Elevation in the Wild


665-2250 metres


Habitat in the Wild


This species has been collected on Luzon in Cagayan Province on Mount Babatngin (Mount Babatngon on Leyte?), Laguna Province on Mount Banahao, San Antonio, Mountain Province along the Lepanto road, Rizal Province on Montalban and Mount Irid. Within the Visayas this species has been collected on Negros Oriental at Malangko near Sibulan.


This species is an epiphyte found in forest.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on a short to slightly elongate rhizome and are shaped terete to fusiform. The pseudobulbs measure 1.5-3.7cm long and 0.3-0.9cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered with 3-6 cataphylls when they are growing; the cataphylls disintegrate into persistent fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate; the petiole measures 1.2-4.2cm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear and have obtuse to subacute apices, sometimes finely mucronate. The leaf blades measure 6.7-17.2cm long and 0.6-1.3cm wide. The blades are thin-textured and have 3-5 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous and appears with the new growth. The peduncle is suberect to curved and measures 8.8-24.0cm long. The rachis is pendent and measures 9.0-24.0cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 1.0-2.0mm apart. There are 3-10 appressed non floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.  The flowers open from the proximal or central section of the rachis.


The Flowers


Up to 100 flowers can grow on an inflorescence. The flowers are golden yellow to greenish yellow (Pedersen 1997). The sepals and petals spread widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped elliptic to oblong and has an obtuse to rounded, rarely acuminate, sometimes apiculate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 2.1-2.9mm long and 0.7-1.4mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has entire margins. The lateral sepals are shaped elliptic and have obtuse to acuminate apices, often finely mucronate. The lateral sepals measure 2.2-3.1mm long and 0.9-1.6mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are often more or less oblique, shaped obovate-elliptic and have obtuse to rounded apices, sometimes apiculate. The petals measure 1.9-2.8mm long and 1.1-1.9mm wide. The petals are three veined and have quite entire to slightly irregular margins. The labellum is easily versatile, pendent and 3-lobed to nearly entire. The labellum measures 1.4-2.2mm long and 0.9-1.8mm wide. The labellum is three veined and has entire margins sometimes serrate along the side lobes. The labellum is glabrous or is finely papillose. The side lobes, if there are any, are small, flat, shaped obliquely rectangular-triangular and have acute to obtuse apices. The mid-lobe, or labellum, is shaped oblong to obovate and has a rounded to emarginate apex, sometimes apiculate. There are two small calli located on the lateral veins. There is a small transverse keel at the base of the labellum. The column is suberect, slightly incurved and measures 0.9-1.2mm long. The apical wing is prolonged into a rounded apex with a slightly irregular margin. The apical wing distinctly exceeds the anther cap. The column foot is short. The stelidia grow upwards from the base of the column, are incurved and are shorter than the column apex. The stelidia are shaped linear to obliquely lanceolate-oblong, often more or less falcate and have obtuse to subacute apices.


Herbarium Specimens






Specimen 18847 (photo) (Dendrochilum ramosii)






Other herbarium specimens


National Herbarium Netherlands, (L)


Specimen L0322477

Specimen L0322478


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K)


Specimen 20282.000

Specimen K000364897

Specimen 70524.000

Specimen 37891.000

Specimen K000079157 (photo)




Yes, a citrus fragrance.


Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild from February to September. Plants in cultivation generally flower during the spring or autumn. Plants flower during the late summer in Australia (Cootes et al 1995).




This is one of the most commonly seen Dendrochilum in cultivation along with Dendrochilum cobbianum and Dendrochilum glumaceum. I have seen plants for sale throughout the EU, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and the USA.


Some sources say to grow this species warmer but given it elevation range this species could be grown cool.


Similar Species




Other Information


When Ames described Dendrochilum ramosii he said it was close to Dendrochilum filiforme but differed by the shape of the labellum and its smaller flowers. L.O. Williams reduced it to a variety of Dendrochilum filiforme in 1952. Henrik Pedersen reduced Dendrochilum ramosii further as a synonym of Dendrochilum filiforme (Pedersen 1997).


A plant received a certificate of cultural commendation from the RHS orchid committee. This plant had 80 flowering inflorescences with an estimated 7,200 flowers.


The epithet refers to the long and graceful inflorescence.


Reference -


AMES, Oakes. 1908, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 2, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


COOTES, Jim. The Orchids of the Philippines, 2001. Timber Press, USA


COOTES, Jim. BANKS, David. 1995, The genus Dendrochilum A guide to the species in cultivation, Orchids Australia, AOC


PEDERSEN, Henrik. 1997, The Genus Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae) in the Philippines - A Taxonomic Revision. Opera Botanica, Denmark


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 08 January 2009. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 08 January 2009.