Dendrobium patentissimum

Dendrobium patentissimum J.J.Sm., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12 (1913) 112; Nova Guinea 12, 4 (1916) 310, t. 112, fig. 203.

Type: Gjellerup 855 (holo BO; iso L).

Stems crowded, in basal part (5-28 cm) subterete, covered in scale-leaves, in upper part laterally compressed, in cross-section narrowly elliptic, leafy, total to more than 40 cm by 2.8 mm, internodes in basal part to 3 cm long, in upper part 0.3-0.6 cm long. Leaf sheaths much longer than the internodes. Leaves widely patent, twisted at the base so as to lie in one plane, ovate to oblong-ovate, 1.9-3.2 by 0.95 cm, coriaceous, apex unequally obtusely bilobulate. Inflorescences laterally from the stems; peduncle 0.1 cm long, 2-flowered, spathe 0.45 cm long. Pedicel 1.3-1.5 cm long; ovary 0.23 cm long. Flowers c. 1.6 cm across. Dorsal sepal 1.1 cm by 6.4 mm; mentum 0.6 cm long, broadly rounded. Petals 0.97 cm by 7 mm. Lip 3-lobed, when flattened 0.9 by 0.7 cm; midlobe 0.45 by 0.78 cm. Column 0.48 cm long; column-foot 0.57.
(after Smith, 1916).

Colours: Not known.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lower montane forest on limestone and basalt. Altitude 900 m.

Flowering time in the wild: November.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Jayapura Regency).

Map: PATENMAP.JPG [Dendrobium patentissimum J.J.Sm., distribution map.]

Notes: Dendrobium patentissimum is closely related to Dendrobium igneum, from which it apparently differs in having smaller flowers with a relatively much broader lip, and in the different colours, which unfortunately were not recorded by Smith (D. igneum has orange flowers).

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.