Dendrobium section Microphytanthe Schltr.,
Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 442.
Rhizome elongated, creeping. Pseudobulbs distant, consisting of one internode, ovoid to oblongoid, 1-leaved. Leaves small, without sheathing base, glabrous, thick coriaceous. Inflorescences terminal or subterminal, short, carrying a single flower. Flowers small, resupinate, fleshy, lasting a few weeks. Mentum large and rather broad, open in front. Petals much narrower than the sepals. Lip attached to the apex of the column-foot, not mobile.
New Guinea, endemic. Three species.
Epiphytes in lowland and montane forest, up to 2750 m above sea level.
Next to sect. Herpetophytum, this is the only other endemic section of Dendrobium in New Guinea. The three species of sect. Microphytanthe are very similar in habit: they are very small creeping plants with long rhizomes, forming strings of short, 1-leaved pseudobulbs. At first sight they can easily be mistaken for species of Bulbophyllum, but the position of the inflorescence soon dispels the illusion. The solitary flowers are small, but large for the plant. This section appears to be more closely related to the genus Cadetia than to any other group of species within Dendrobium itself, a fact that is bound to cause taxonomical problems.