Dendrobium dichaeoides

Dendrobium dichaeoides Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 507; 21 (1923) t. 172, fig. 641.

Type: Schlechter 17295 (B, lost; lecto L, chosen by Dauncey 1995, AMES, BO).

Rhizome elongated, stem-like, creeping, roots elongated, filiform, flexuose, glabrous. Pseudobulbs more or less widely spaced, very densely leafy throughout, more or less clavate, the swollen part more or less quadrangular, c. 2.5-3.5 mm thick, creeping-pendulous, rooting along their length. Leaf sheaths entirely covering the pseudobulb. Leaves patent, obliquely lanceolate-oblong, 1-1.5 by 0.3-0.5 cm, not articulated with the sheaths, apex unequally bilobulate, apiculate, the lobules aristate. Inflorescences lateral from the apical part of the pseudobulb, racemose, short, head-like, densely 4-8-flowered. Floral bracts ovate-lanceolate, shorter than the pedicel and ovary, apex acuminate. Pedicel and ovary 0.7 cm long, clavate, glabrous. Flowers not resupinated, c. 1 cm long. Dorsal sepal ovate-lanceolate, 0.6 cm long, apex subacute. Lateral sepals obliquely ovate-lanceolate, widened at the base, 0.6 cm long, apex subacuminate; mentum oblongoid, 5 mm long, obtuse. Petals obliquely elliptic-lanceolate, 0.6 cm long, apex subacute. Lip concave-ligulate, slightly constricted in the basal third, 0.85 by 0.3 cm, with a transverse lamella in basal third, slightly widened towards the shortly acuminate apex. Column short, clinandrium 3-lobulate, the lateral lobules semiorbicular, the median smaller, tooth-like; column-foot c. 0.5 cm long. Anther quadrate-cucullate, in front truncate and slightly papillose-pubescent.
(after Schlechter, 1912).

Colours: Flower rose-red to purple red.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest. Altitude 1000-2300 m.

Flowering time in the wild: Throughout the year.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Manokwari and Nabire Regencies); Papua New Guinea (Enga, Southern Highlands, Simbu, Eastern Highlands, Madang, Morobe, and Milne Bay Provinces).

Notes: A highly characteristic species, especially by its habit, which closely resembles that of some species of Dichaea, a neotropical orchid genus. The leaves are not articulated with the leaf-sheaths, a very rare character in Dendrobium, also found in the very different Dendrobium pseudopeloricum. This character easily separates D. dichaeoides from Dendrobium alaticaulinum, with which it is sometimes confused.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, keep in shade.