Dendrobium caudiculatum

Dendrobium caudiculatum (M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones) Schuit. & de Vogel inedit., Blumea 48 (2003) 509

Basionym: Dockrillia caudiculata.

Pendulous epiphytic herb forming sparse clumps 1.5-2 m long. Aerial roots absent or rare. Stems straight, 2-15 cm by 2-3 mm. Leaves linear-terete, 10-50 cm by 3-5 mm, pendulous. Racemes 10-15 cm long, wiry, arising singly from the nodes at the leaf base, bearing 10-20 flowers. Pedicels 8-10 mm long, filiform. Ovary 1-2 mm long, hardly developed at anthesis. Flowers about 2.5 cm across, opening widely, not self pollinating. Dorsal sepal narrowly oblong-elliptic, 10-14 mm by 2-2.5 mm, erect, apex acuminate. Lateral sepals asymmetrically oblong-lanceolate, 10-14 mm by 2-2.5 mm, strongly falcate, widely divergent, apex acuminate. Petals narrowly linear-obovate 12-14 mm by c. 0.8 mm, widely spreading, often bent near the acute apex. Lip curved in the proximal two-thirds, with midlobe abruptly recurved, 10-13 mm by 34 mm when flattened; lateral lobes more or less oblong to oblong-elliptical, much longer than the midlobe, 6-7.5 mm by c. 1.8 mm, incurved; midlobe almost quadrate, 3.5-5 mm by 3.55 mm, thin-textured, the margins irregularly sinuate, and apex acuminately caudate, often curved to one side; callus of three tall narrow ridges, intensely and irregularly sinuate in the basal quarter, extending to the centre of the mid-lobe. Column 2.5-3 mm by 2-2.5 mm, porrect from the end of the ovary, glabrous, dorsally lacerate to erose; column foot 4.5-5.5 mm by c. 1.5 mm, at about 90 degrees to the column, shallowly channelled, glabrous. Stigma oblong c. 1.2 mm by 1.8 mm, deeply sunken. Anther c. 1.5 mm by 1.5 mm, with a short, decurved, lacerate rostrum. Pollinia clavate, falcate, c. 1 mm long, waxy. Capsule not seen.
(after Clements & Jones, 1996).

Colours: Leaves dark green to grey-green. Flowers creamy-yellow with red spots near the centre; lip greenish-yellow with purplish suffusions and markings, apex often white, callus often dark purple. Pollinia orange.

Habitat: Epiphyte in hill forest, at higher altitudes mainly on exposed Casuarina trees (fide O'Byrne). Altitude 40 to c. 900 m.

Flowering time in the wild: February, June-July. The flowers last 5-10 days.

Distribution: New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (Morobo, Central, and East New Britain Provinces).

Map: CAUDIMAP.JPG [Dendrobium caudiculatum (M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones) Schuit. & de Vogel, distribution map.]

Notes: This species may be recognised by the short midlobe of the lip with a prominent, acuminate apical tail.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.