Dendrobium vernicosum

Dendrobium vernicosum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 579; 21 (1928) t. 193, fig. 724.

Type: Schlechter 17197 (holo B, lost).

Rhizome very short, roots elongated, filiform, flexuose, glabrous. Stems crowded, erect, slender, straight, terete, 100-150 cm by 3.5-4.5 mm, densely many-leaved, unbranched. Leaf sheaths entirely covering the stem, minutely verruculose-rugulose, apical margin sublobate-rounded. Leaves erect-patent to subpatent, linear-lanceolate, 12-16 by 0.7-1.1 cm, apex acute, upper surface shining as if varnished. Inflorescences lateral from the stem, short, 2-flowered, spathe oblong, obtuse, laterally compressed. Floral bracts hyaline, much shorter than the ova. Pedicel and ovary 1.7 cm long, slender, glabrous. Flowers c. 8 cm across. Dorsal sepal lanceolate, 4 cm long, apex elongate-acuminate. Lateral sepals obliquely lanceolate, widened at the base, 4 cm long, apex elongate-acuminate; mentum 0.5 cm long, obtuse. Petals obliquely linear-lanceolate, a little shorter than the sepals, apex elongated-acuminate. Lip 3-lobed in the middle, 1.5 cm long, oblong-cuneate at the base, with an obtuse linear keel extending from the base to the base of the midlobe, the basal half of the lip sparsely papillose-hairy, the midlobe entirely covered with a cushion-like mass of hairs; lateral lobes ovate-triangular, obtuse; midlobe oblong, margins pectinate, apex obtuse. Column short, glabrous, clinandrium 3-lobulate, the lateral lobules rounded-truncate, serrulate, the median much longer, subulate; column-foot oblong, 0.5 cm long. Anther trapezoid-cucullate, in front truncate, glabrous.
(after Schlechter, 1912).

Colours: Sepals and petals snowy white, lip and column at the base brown-yellow.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lower montane forest. Altitude 1100 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, August.

Distribution: New Guinea, Solomon Islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Jayapura Regency); Papua New Guinea (Madang Province: Kani Mountains).

Map: VERCOMAP.JPG [Dendrobium vernicosum Schltr., distribution map.]

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.