Dendrobium cochlioides

Dendrobium cochliodes Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 545; 21 (1923) t. 184, fig. 689.

Type: Schlechter 17491 (holo B, lost); para: Schlechter 18147; 19853 (B, lost).

An epiphytic herb. Stems 0.6-2.6(-4.5) m tall, cane-like, slender, 1 cm diam. Leaves suberect or subspreading, coriaceous, oblong or oblong-elliptic, unequally bilobed at rounded apex, 5-8 by 2-3 cm, articulated to deciduous tubular sheaths 2.5-4 cm long. Inflorescences erect-spreading, 20-36 cm long, 6-30-flowered; peduncle 10-18 cm long; bracts elliptic-lanceolate or triangular, acute, 2-7 mm long. Flowers: pedicel and ovary 2.2-3 cm long. Dorsal sepal recurved, narrowly oblong-lanceolate, obtuse, apiculate, 2-2.5 by 0.6 cm, margins undulate; lateral sepals recurved, obliquely oblong-lanceolate, acute, 2-2.5 by 0.6-1 cm, undulate on margins; mentum broadly conical, deflexed, 1-1.1 cm. Petals linear, slightly dilated above, obtuse, 2.9-4 by 0.2-0.3 cm, spirally twisted about 3 times. Lip 3-lobed, 2.5-3.5 by 1.2-1.4 cm; side lobes obliquely semi-elliptic, rounded and spreading in front, with rugulose veins in apical half; midlobe recurved, oblong, obtuse or apiculate, 1.2 cm long; callus of 3 keels tapering to apex on base of midlobe. Column 6 mm long, denticulate on apical lateral margins.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Colours: Leaves green longitudinally striped with red. Flowers yellow-green or yellow, sometimes flushed with brownish-red on dorsal sepal and petals; lip greenish yellow or yellow veined with purple or brown with a white callus edged with purple.

Habitat: Epiphyte in (lower) montane forest, often in exposed positions. Altitude 800-2000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: March to September.

Distribution: New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua and Papua New Guinea, widespread.

Map: COCHLMAP.JPG [Dendrobium cochliodes Schltr., distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 41 (1986) 650, map 5, with new record added.]

Notes: This species is one of the few in the section Spatulata recorded from the montane zone. Dendrobium cochliodes is allied to Dendrobium tangerinum but differs in its flower colour which is yellow usually with glossy chocolate-brown petals, the latter being linear, acute and spirally twisted three or four times. The midlobe of the lip is also distinctive being narrowly oblong, apiculate, and almost half the lip in length. The side-lobes of the lip curve outwards and like Dendrobium conanthum bear rugulose ridges at right angles to the veins on the upper surface. In flower colour, these species might also be confused but the callus ridges of Dendrobium cochliodes always taper to the apex.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, prefers light position.