Accepted name: Dendrochilum galbanum J.J.Wood, Orchid Rev. 102: 147 (1994)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.

This photo was taken by Rogier van Vugt of a plant in cultivation at the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden and is used with permission.
This photo was taken by Rogier van Vugt of a plant in cultivation at the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden and is used with permission.





Origin in the Wild


Sumatra and Sarawak


Elevation in the Wild


2250 metres on Sumatra

1800-2350 metres in Sarawak


Habitat in the Wild


The type specimen was collected on Mount Murud in Sarawak on the route from Ba Kelalan to Mount Murud, south west of camp 3 and on the second sandstone summit.


On Sumatra this species was collected from Aceh Province on Mount Ketambe in the Mount Leuser Nature Reserve.


Jeffrey Wood described the habitat as mossy forest on sandstone (Wood 2001).


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs crowd along a short and branching rhizome that grows to 3cm long. The pseudobulbs are shaped ovoid to ovate-oblong and measure 0.5-1cm long and 0.4-0.5cm wide. The pseudobulbs are covered by 5-6 cataphylls while they are growing (Sumatran specimens). The cataphylls disintegrate into fibres as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate, the petiole measures 2-5mm long. The leaf blades are shaped linear-ligulate and have obtuse, minutely mucronate apices. The leaf blades measure 4-7cm long and 0.3-0.6cm wide. The leaves have 5 distinct nerves.


Herbarium Specimens








Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen K000079101 (photo)




Other herbarium specimens


National Herbarium Netherlands, Leiden (L)


Specimen L0322484


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen 56796.000

Specimen K000395598






I could find no record


Flowering Season


In Sarawak flowering plants have been collected in the wild during August and September.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is erect and measures 0.3-1.8cm long. The rachis is quadrangular in cross section, orange, erect and measures 4-9.5cm long. The flowers are spaced 3-5mm apart. There are 1-3 non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis.


The Flowers


Between 12 and 20 flowers are recorded as growing on an inflorescence. Jeffrey Wood described the flower colour as greenish-yellow or bright yellow with a green column, yellow anther cap, yellow labellum that is brown in the middle with red keels (Wood 2001). The sepals and petals spread widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped narrowly elliptic and has an acute apex. The dorsal sepal measures 7.5-8mm long and 2mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped narrowly ovate-elliptic and have acute apices. The lateral sepals measure 7.9-8mm long and 2mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The petals are shaped narrowly elliptic and have acute to subacute apices. The petals measure 7mm long and 2mm wide. The petals are three veined and have entire margins. The labellum is sessile, 3-nerved and entire. The labellum is shaped elliptic and has an acute apex. The margin of the labellum is erose basally. There are two keels than run ¾ of the length of the labellum from a transverse ridge at the base of the hypochile. There is an elevated prominent median nerve between the two keels; the median nerve joins the keels at the base of the hypochile. The column is gently incurved and measures 3mm long. The column foot is short. The apical hood is an ovate shape with a rounded apex and entire margin. The stelidia grow upwards from just above the base of the column and are shorter than the column apex; not quite reaching the stigmatic cavity. The stelidia are shaped linear and have obtuse to acute apices. The stelidia measure 1mm long.




I do not think this species is in cultivation


Similar Species


Dendrochilum graminoides


Other Information


This species differs from Dendrochilum graminoides by the shorter and broader leaves, erect inflorescence, larger flower, broader labellum, longer column and shorter stelidia (Wood 2001)


The plants collected on Sumatra have wider leaves and longer inflorescences (Wood 2001). The flower morphology is the same as the Bornean plants.


The epithet refers to the flower colour.


Reference -


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


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


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


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


WOOD, Jeffrey. 2008, Two Interesting Species of Dendrochilum, Malesian Orchid Journal Vol 1 (2008).


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 17 November 2008. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 17 November 2008.