Dendrobium caliculimentum

Dendrobium caliculimentum R.S.Rogers, Trans. & Proc. Roy. Soc. South Australia 49 (1925) 261 ('caliculi-mentum').

Type: Lane-Poole 265 (New Guinea, Owen Stanley Ra.).

Rhizome short. Stems crowded, pendulous, slender, terete, branching, 90-120 cm long, many-leaved, internodes up to 2.2 cm long. Leaf sheaths longer than the internodes, entirely covering the stem, tubular, truncate. Leaves subpatent, lanceolate, 1.1-3.7 by 0.25-0.4 cm, margins at the apex minutely serrate, apex sharply acute; rigid. Inflorescences arising from the apical part of the stem, very short, terminal and subterminal, racemose, 4-6-flowered. Pedicel and ovary 1.4 cm long, slender, pedicel 0.7 cm long. Flowers not resupinated, 1.4-1.5 cm long. Dorsal sepal erect, ovate, slightly concave, narrowing at the base, 0.5-0.6 cm by 2.75 mm, 3-nerved, apex sharply acute. Lateral sepals obliquely obcuneate, along the anterior margins 1.4-1.5 cm long, connate at the base for 0.4 cm, free part as long as the dorsal sepal, apex sharply acute; mentum curved, c. 0.8 cm long, obtuse. Petals erect, narrowly oblong, much narrower than the dorsal sepal, 0.55 cm long, 3-nerved, margins minutely serrate near apex, apex acute. Lip erect, much surpassing the column, elliptic-lanceolate, 1.3 cm long including the claw, 0.35 cm wide, base clawed, the claw semicylindrical, 0.5 by 0.3 mm, 5-nerved, adnate for 2 mm to the sides of the column-foot, forming a small cup, basal margin of the blade forming a transverse semilunate callus, lateral margins incurved, minutely serrate near the apex, 7-veined, apex acute. Column 0.3-0.4 cm long, clinandrium 3-lobulate, the lateral lobules broad, obtuse, slightly emarginate, the median a little longer, linear, conspicuously 1-veined; column-foot very slender, c. 0.9-1 cm long.
(after Rogers, 1925).

Colours: Flower dark rose at the base, pale rose to whitish at the tips.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane to subalpine forest. Altitude 1000 to 3150 m.

Flowering time in the wild: February, April-September, November. Flowers long lasting.

Distribution: Sulawesi, New Guinea, Solomon Islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Paniai and Jaya Wijaya Regencies); Papua New Guinea (Sandaun, Southern Highlands, Enga, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Simbu, Madang, Morobe, Central, and Milne Bay Provinces).

Notes: Dendrobium caliculimentum is a common mountain species of section Pedilonum. It may be recognised by the long, weak, pendulous stems, branching densely, almost broom-like in the upper part, while at the base usually only a single thin stem clings to the host tree. It can be extremely floriferous.

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, keep in shade.