Dendrobium cuculliferum

Dendrobium cuculliferum J.J.Sm., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12 (1913) 118; Nova Guinea 12, 3 (1916) 349, t. 127, fig. 233.

Type: Gjellerup 1045 (iso L 2x).

Stems slender, branching, upper part flexuose, in cross-section broadly elliptic, 90 cm long, internodes to 4.2 cm long. Leaf sheaths when dried with prominent veines, on the veines indistinctly verruculose. Leaves patent, lanceolate, 2.1-8.6 by 0.6-2 cm, papyraceous, margins near the apex densely minutely denticulate-fimbriate, apex acute, long apiculate. Inflorescences lateral from both leafy and defoliated branches, racemose, subsessile; rachis 0.8-1.2 cm long, 3-10-flowered. Floral bracts ovate, 0.75 by 5.3 cm, apex acuminate, outside verruculose. Pedicel 0.8 cm long; ovary 1.9 cm long, clavate, obtusely triangular in cross-section. Flowers 2.9 cm long. Dorsal sepal 1 cm by 5.8 mm; mentum conical, 1.75 cm long. Petals 0.9 cm by 4 mm, margins near apex minutely papillose-erose. Lip much shorter than the column, when flattened 1.8 by 0.9 cm, claw adnate to the column-foot for 1 cm, at c. 1/3 above the base with a transverse thickening; apex cucullate, in the middle densely narrowly lacinulate, laterally denticulate. Column 0.33 cm long; column-foot 1.7 cm long, at the apex with an oblong cavity covered by a membrane which is provided with a small tooth.
(after Smith, 1916).

Colours: Flower pink to violet-pink, leaves often tinged violet.

Habitat: Epiphyte on trees growing on granite and granite rubble, locally common. Altitude 1400-1800 m.

Flowering time in the wild: April.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Manokwari Regency: Arfak Mountains).

Notes: Dendrobium cuculliferum is among the relatively few species in the Calyptrochilus group in which the lip is distinctly shorter than the column; other species include e.g. Dendrobium brevilabium, Dendrobium verruciflorum, Dendrobium tubiflorum, Dendrobium glaucoviride, Dendrobium convexipes, and perhaps Dendrobium navicula.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.