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Genus Dendrochilum

Genus Dendrochilum

Dendrochilum Blume, Bijdr. (1825) 398


  • Genus Acoridium Nees & Meyen, Nov. Actorum Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 19
  • Genus Basigyne J.J.Sm., Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg
  • Genus Platyclinis Benth., J. Linn. Soc.

Sympodial epiphytic or rarely terrestrial plants with very short to long rhizomes. Pseudobulbs consisting of one internode, one-leaved. Leaves not sheathing at the base, glabrous, sometimes plicate, rarely [only in the Philippines] terete; deciduous, convolute or duplicate, thin-textured, sometimes rather stiff, rarely leathery. Inflorescence lateral from the base of the pseudobulb (heteranthous), or terminal from the young developing shoot (synanthous), a few- to many-flowered raceme, with the flowers arranged in two rows. Flowers small, usually resupinate, usually greenish, yellowish or brownish. Sepals usually free. Petals free, usually similar to the dorsal sepal. Lip without spur, mobile or not. Column often with two lateral arms. Column-foot absent or very short. Pollinia 4, solid, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium absent.

Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea. About 280 species; in New Guinea one, non-endemic, species [Dendrochilum longifolium Rchb.f.].

Epiphytes in lowland and montane forest.

  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Arethuseae
  • Subtribe Coelogyninae
  • Genus Dendrochilum
  • Pedersen, H.A. 1995. Thirteen new species of Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae), a new record from Burma, and a checklist of the genus in east Malesia. Nord. J. Bot. 15: 381-402.
  • Pedersen, H.A. 1997. The genus Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae) in the Philippines: a taxonomic revision. Op. Bot. 131: 1-205.
  • Pedersen, H.A., J.J. Wood, and J.B. Comber. 1997. A revised subdivision and bibliographical survey of Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae). Op. Bot. 130: 1-85.
  • Wood, J.J. 2001. Dendrochilum of Borneo. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

This genus, so species-rich in Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines, is very poorly represented in New Guinea. The only species occurring in New Guinea is, however, one of the most common orchids there. It is an epiphyte with semi-erect peduncle and pendulous rachis with fragrant, small, pale green flowers arranged in two rows, with brown marks on the lip. The plants are very easily cultivated.

Genus Dendrochilum Blume contains c. 280 species, in New Guinea:

Dendrochilum longifolium

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Genus Dendrochilum

Dendrochilum longifolium Rchb.f., flower, photo A. Schuiteman, Leiden cult. 32308

Genus Dendrochilum

Dendrochilum longifolium Rchb.f., in situ, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell, based on Cruttwell (5/85, PNG, Mt. Gahavisuka)

Genus Dendrochilum

Dendrochilum longifolium Rchb.f., inflorescence, photo A. Schuiteman, Leiden cult. 32308