Dendrobium section Distichophyllae Hook.f.,
Fl. Brit. Ind. 5 (1890) 711.
Rhizomes short to somewhat elongated, creeping. Pseudobulbs elongated and slender, rather fleshy, longitudinally grooved, many-leaved, unbranched. Leaves sheathing at the base, glabrous. Inflorescences lateral, short, 1-flowered. Flowers rather small to medium-sized, usually resupinate, lasting at least several days, with a prominent spur-like mentum. Lip not mobile, often 3-lobed, rather fleshy and usually with few to several low crests.
Burma, Thailand, Indochina, China, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia. About 35 species; in New Guinea 2 species, neither of which is endemic.
Epiphytes in lowland and lower montane forest.
This section is close to sect. Brevisaccata (in particular to Dendrobium viridiflorum), which differs in having papillose roots, racemose or branching inflorescences, and a mobile lip with a basal appendage. It is even closer to sect. Conostalix, which differs in having leaf-sheaths covered with short black hairs. See under that section for some additional comparative remarks. Section Distichophyllae, usually wrongly called Distichophyllum (as also in Vol. I, we must admit), has had its main development in Borneo, where some rather spectacular species occur (e.g. Dendrobium piranha C.L.Chan & P.J.Cribb). In contrast, those of New Guinea are not particularly noteworthy from a cultivator's point of view.