Dendrobium strepsiceros

Dendrobium strepsiceros J.J.Sm., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 11 (1912) 131; Nova Guinea 12, 1 (1913) 49, t. 14, fig. 39.

Type: Joseph cult. s.n. (?Moluccas) (holo BO, ?iso AMES, ?K, L).

An epiphytic herb. Stems elongate-fusiform, about 60 cm long, 2.5 cm diam., obtusely 4-angled. Leaves ovate to ovate-oblong, subacute, 4.75-12 by 2-5.8 cm, articulated to tubular sheaths c. 3 cm long. Inflorescences 22-34 cm long, 8-12-flowered; peduncle c. 5 cm long; bracts tubular, obtuse, 3-4 mm long. Flowers fragrant, 3.6 cm across, 5.7 cm tall; pedicel emerging 4-6 mm above axil of bract, with ovary c. 3 cm long. Dorsal sepal erect, sublinear-lanceolate, acute, or acuminate, 2.2-2.7 by 0.6-0.7 cm, undulate and twisted; lateral sepals falcate, obliquely narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, 2.5-2.7 by 1.1-1.2 cm; mentum narrowly conical, pointed, 8.5-10 mm long. Petals linear, acute, 3.5-4 by 0.4 cm, 2-3-times twisted. Lip 3-lobed, 2-2.6 by 1.2-1.5 cm; side-lobes obliquely quadrate-elliptic, rounded in front; midlobe ovate, acute, not recurved, 1 by 0.8 cm, margins undulate; callus of 5 ridges, central reaching almost to apex of midlobe where it is raised. Column 5-6 mm long, roundly obscurely bilobed at apex.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Colours: Leaves shining, pale green. Sepals pale yellow-green scarcely striped with brown or with dark green veins; petals pale yellow-green; lip green with purple veins and a violet callus.

Habitat: Epiphyte in exposed positions in coastal forest (fide O'Byrne).

Distribution: New Guinea, including Bismarck Archipelago (fide O'Byrne), and Moluccas (Bacan).

Distribution in New Guinea: ?Papua; ?Papua New Guinea (New Britain, New Hanover; fide O'Byrne).

Notes: A poorly understood species that is closely related to Dendrobium antennatum, Dendrobium strepsiceros differs in having predominantly yellow-green flowers, faintly striped with brown on the sepals and purple veined on the lip, and a broader lip with a larger midlobe and verrucose side lobes. The lip has a five-ridged callus like Dendrobium antennatum, but the mid-ridge is noticeably dilated at its apex on the distal half of the midlobe.

In the past, Dendrobium tangerinum, then an undescribed species, was often misidentified as Dendrobium strepsiceros. Dendrobium tangerinum is quite different having orange or reddish flowers with a lilac callus, oblong or elliptic, obtuse leaves and narrow ovate bracts with the pedicels emerging from their axils.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, prefers light position.