Dendrobium calcaratum

Dendrobium calcaratum A.Rich., in D'Urv., Voy. Astrol., Bot. (1834) 18.

Type: A. Richard s.n. (P, holo, lost).

An epiphytic herb. Stems clustered, pendent, ribbed, up to 1.5 m long, slightly swollen at the base, leafy in upper part. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, 9-16 by 1.3-1.7 cm, acute, unequally bilobed at apex. lnflorescences several, lateral, pendent, from nodes near apex of old leafless stems, 10- to 18-flowered, with the basal flowers developing first; peduncle up to 2 cm long. Pedicel and ovary c. 1 cm long. Flowers fleshy, not opening widely, c. 1.5 cm long. Dorsal sepal oblong, 0.5-0.6 cm by 3 mm, concave. Lateral sepals oblong, 1.4-1.5 cm by 3-4 mm wide, concave; mentum cylindrical, 8-9 mm long, obtuse, appressed to the ovary. Petals elliptic-lanceolate, 0.5-0.6 cm by 2-3 mm, upper margin erose. Lip with the saccate basal portion fused to the column-foot, the free portion obovate, 9-10 mm long, 3-4 mm wide, with the lateral margins inrolled, and with an erose margin at the apex, the basal and apical parts of the lip divided by a transverse lamella. Column 2-3 mm long with an 8 mm long column-foot.
(after Lewis & Cribb, 1991).

Colours: Stems yellow-green turning maroon with age. Flower bright orange, mentum tinged pink on the dorsal side.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland forest. Altitude 300 m.

Flowering time in the wild: June.

Distribution: New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (Madang Province).

Notes: Dendrobium calcaratum is a robust lowland member of section Pedilonum, recognised by the pendulous racemes of light orange flowers that do not open widely.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.