Dendrobium carronii

Dendrobium carronii Lavarack & P.J.Cribb, Austrobaileya 1 (1982 publ. 1983) 497.

Type: Lavarack 2573 (holo BRI).

A small epiphytic herb. Stems clustered, pseudobulbous, fusiform to subglobose, 1.5-5 by 1-3 cm. Leaves 2-4, subterminal, almost terete, grooved on upper surface, linear, acute, up to 12 by 0.5 cm. Inflorescences 1-3 from upper nodes, up to 20 cm long, 2-12-flowered, borne at almost a right angle to the stem; bracts ovate, acuminate, 2 mm long. Flowers: pedicel and ovary about 2 cm long. Sepals oblong-triangular, acuminate 0.5-1 by 0.3-0.5 cm; mentum conical 4-5 mm long. Petals oblanceolate, acute, 1.8-2 by 0.2-0.3 cm, about once-twisted. Lip three-lobed. 1-1.4 by 0.7-0.8 cm; side-lobes rounded in front; midlobe oblong, acute: callus of 3 low ridges, the mid-ridge scarcely raised at apex. Column 2 mm long, denticulate at apex.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Colours: Stems purple. Flowers white, sepals with maroon or dark purple petals and a bright yellow lip.

Habitat: Epiphyte in savannah, favouring Melaleuca trees overhanging rivers or growing in seasonally swampy areas (fide O'Byrne). Altitude: 0-500 m.

Flowering time in the wild: July-August.

Distribution: Australia (NE Queensland), South New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: South Papua; Papua New Guinea (Central and Western Provinces).

Map: CARROMAP.JPG [Dendrobium carronii Lavarack & P.J.Cribb, distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 41 (1986) 629, map 2, with new records added.]

Notes: Dendrobium carronii resembles Dendrobium canaliculatum but its flowers are quite distinct with purple-maroon petals that are narrower, a mentum that points backwards and often curves upwards towards the apex and a bright yellow lip with a low callus of three ridges, beaded and scarcely raised at the apex, on the oblong midlobe. Its inflorescence is characteristically produced at a right angle to the pseudobulb.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.