Dendrobium gouldii

Dendrobium gouldii Rchb.f., Gard. Chron. (1867) 901; Xenia Orchid. 2 (1870) 167, t. 169.

Type: Veitch s.n. (Solomon Isl.) (holo W).

An epiphytic or lithophytic herb. Stems 0.9-1.8 m tall, cane-like, often slightly dilated in the middle. Leaves coriaceous, oblong-elliptic or elliptic, obtuse or rounded at unequally bilobed apex, 12-17.5 by 5-6.3 cm, articulated to tubular sheathing bases 2.6-4 cm long. Inflorescences 30-70 cm long, 7-40-flowered; bracts ovate-triangular, acute or subacute, 3-5 mm long. Flowers very variable in size; pedicel and ovary 2.8-4.7 cm long. Dorsal sepal recurved, linear-lanceolate, acute, 2-2.6 by 0.5-0.6 cm; lateral sepals falcate, lanceolate, acute or acuminate, 2.2-2.6 by 0.8-1 cm; mentum conical, 8-10 mm, deflexed slightly at apex. Petals linear-spathulate, obtuse, 27-4 by 0.3-0.5 cm, one- to three-times twisted. Lip 3-lobed, 2.2-2.4 by 1.3-1.5 cm; side-lobes obliquely oblong, rounded in front, erose on margins; midlobe subspathulate, obtuse, apiculate, erose on margins; callus of five ridges, the central three prominent and raised at apex on centre of midlobe. Column 6-8 mm long denticulate at apex, with a short stelidium on each side.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Colours: Flowers very variable in colour: sepals white, pale yellow or yellow with white, pale yellow, brown or violet petals; lip white to yellow, veined with purple or violet.

Habitat: Epiphyte in rainforest, swamp forest, beach forest and isolated tress near the coast, also lithophytic on coral cliffs. Growing in exposed positions. Altitude 0-700 m (fide O'Byrne).

Distribution: Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon islands, ?Vanuatu.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (New Ireland, New Hanover).

Map: GOULDMAP.JPG [Dendrobium gouldii Rchb.f., distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 41 (1986) 629, map 2.]

Notes: Dendrobium gouldii, which is not known from the island of New Guinea itself, has often been confused with Dendrobium lineale. The former has longer, more twisted, subacute petals and a longer lip with an obovate midlobe bearing rather acute lamellae at the apex of the callus. The latter has shorter, more spathulate, rounded, half-twisted petals and a shorter lip with an oblong midlobe, undulate margins and blunter erose lamellae.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, prefers light position.