Dendrobium bracteosum

Dendrobium bracteosum Rchb.f., Gard. Chron. (1886, II) 809; Lindenia 2 (1886) 55 t. 71.

Type: Linden cult. s.n. (New Guinea) (holo W ?).

Rhizome very short. Pseudobulbs crowded, laxly several-leaved, erect-patent to patent, cylindrical, somewhat narrowed to the base, fleshy, 5-35 by 0.4-0.8 cm. Leaves erect-patent, linear to linear-ligulate, 4-9 by 0.45-1.8 cm, apex unequally and obtusely bilobulate. Inflorescences racemose, densely 3-15-flowered, subsessile, to c. 4 cm long. Floral bracts ovate to lanceolate, about as long as the dorsal sepal or a little shorter, apex acute, keeled outside. Pedicel and ovary 0.8-1 cm long, subclavate, glabrous. Flowers 2-2.5 cm long. Sepals keeled outside. Dorsal sepal oblong-elliptic, 9-1.7 cm long, apex apiculate. Lateral sepals oblong-elliptic, much widened at the base, free part 0.8-1.6 cm long, apex apiculate; mentum conical-oblongoid, straight, 0.5-0.9 cm long, obtuse. Petals obliquely linear to obovate, somewhat narrowed to the base, 0.8-1.7 cm long, apex obtuse to acute, apiculate. Lip subpandurate-ligulate with the narrowest part near the middle, 1.3 by 0.3 cm, in basal fourth with the margins adnate to the column-foot, in the narrowest part with a low, backwards-pointing, often shortly 3-lobed lamella; margins to the apex erose to minutely ciliate, apex subacute to acuminate. Column 0.35 cm long, clinandrium with entire to denticulate margins; column-foot 0.5-0.9 cm long.
(after Schlechter, 1923 - as Dendrobium leucochrysum, and O'Byrne, 1994).

Colours: Sepals and petals white, greenish white, pink, red or rarely orange, lip yellow to orange.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland and lower montane rainforest, swamp forest, mangroves and limestone hill forest. Altitude 0-1150 m.

Flowering time in the wild: Throughout the year. Flowers last 3 to 4 months (fide O'Byrne).

Distribution: New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Manokwari and Jayapura Regencies); Papua New Guinea (East Sepik, Madang, Central, Oro, and Milne Bay Provinces, New Britain, New Ireland, Lousiades).

Notes: Dendrobium bracteosum is a common and widespread species, of which several colour forms are known, all with a yellow to orange lip.

Cultivation: Warm to intermediate growing epiphyte, requires bright position and watering throughout the year