Dendrobium aberrans

Dendrobium aberrans Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 484; 21 (1923) t. 163, fig. 609.

Type: Schlechter 19550 (holo B, lost; iso AD, AMES, BO, K, L 2x, MO, S).

A small epiphytic herb. Pseudobulbs clustered, narrowly clavate, 3-4-noded below leaves, 3-20 by 0.4-1.3 cm, purple or olive-yellow, 2-3-leaved at apex. Leaves coriaceous, spreading, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, 3.5-10.2 by 1.6-3.1 cm. Inflorescences several, erect to arcuate-pendent, 6-8 cm long, 2-6-flowered; peduncle slender, wiry; bracts ovate-elliptic, acute, 2-4.5 mm long. Flowers opening widely. Dorsal sepal elliptic, obtuse, 7 by 5 mm; lateral sepals obliquely oblong-elliptic, obtuse, 7-9 by 6.5 mm; mentum subglobose, 5 mm long. Petals lanceolate, rounded it apex, 6.5 by 3 mm, with erose apical margins. Lip clawed, spreading widely, 3-lobed, flabellate in outline, with prominently raised veins, 1 by 1.4 cm; side-lobes obovate, with erose margins; midlobe smaller than side-lobes, deeply emarginate to half length; callus fleshy on claw, obscurely 3-ridged. column 2 mm long; foot 5 mm long, incurved.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Colours: Flowers white or creamy white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in mossy forests of Castanopsis, Nothofagus, tree fern etc. Altitude 300-1900 m.

Flowering time in the wild: May, June, August, December.

Distribution: New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (widespread in the eastern part).

Map: ABERRMAP.JPG [Dendrobium aberrans Schltr., distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 38 (1983) 289, map 7.]

Notes: Dendrobium aberrans belongs to a distinctive group within sect. Latouria in which the mentum is saccate or subsaccate rather than conical in side view. The lip is also quite distinctive being mostly broader than long with side-lobes generally larger than the midlobe. The latter if well-developed is commonly deeply emarginate. The group owes it attribution to sect. Latouria largely to its vegetative habit.

Dendrobium aberrans is quite distinctive within the group having pretty white flowers often marked with pink on the column. The three-lobed lip has an emarginate midlobe and rugulosely fleshy veins on the side-lobes.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.