Dendrobium crenatifolium

Dendrobium crenatifolium J.J.Sm., Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, sér. 2, 2 (1911) 11; Nova Guinea 12, 1 (1913) 56, t. 15, fig. 44.

Type: Kock, de 71; 102; 126; 158; 165 (syn BO).

Stems erect, in cross-section transversely elliptic, 20-30 cm by 2-3.3 mm, internodes 0.5-1.5 cm long. Leaf sheaths 0.33 cm wide. Leaves erect, curved, channelled, subovate-lanceolate, 2.5-4.5 by 0.83-1.1 cm, rigidly coriaceous, margins minutely cartilaginous-crenulate, apex subobliquely obtuse. Inflorescences from the upper nodes of the stem, racemose, c. 2.2 cm long, c. 6-flowered. Floral bracts patent, broadly ovate-triangular, 0.35 by 0.38 cm, apex acuminate. Pedicel and ovary 2.3 cm long, verruculose. Flowers c. 2.9 cm long. Dorsal sepal 1.35 cm by 8 mm, margin at apex minutely papillose-ciliolate; mentum cylindrical, 1.8 cm long, at apex 0.55 cm wide, truncate-obtuse. Petals 1.5 cm by 7.4 mm, margins near apex papillose. Lip clawed, spathulate, claw when flattened 1.8 cm long, for 0.25 cm adnate to the column-foot, blade 1.25 by 1.1 cm, on the claw with a transverse thickening. Column 0.55 cm long; column-foot 1.75 cm long, near the apex with a cavity of which the lower margin is provided with a reversed tooth.
(after Smith, 1913).

Colours: Flower violet to violet-purple, lip orange with violet margins.

Habitat: Terrestrial on mossy rocks, locally common. Altitude 2800-3450 m.

Flowering time in the wild: February-April, August, October.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Jaya Wijaya Regency).

Notes: Dendrobium crenatifolium is an attractive high altitude member of section Pedilonum. The flowers have the colour combination frequently seen in this section: violet-purple sepals and petals with an orange lip (e.g. in Dendrobium hasseltii, Dendrobium obtusum, Dendrobium pseudoglomeratum, and Dendrobium andreemillarae). It may be recognised by the spathulate lip and especially by the leaves which have cartilaginous-crenulate margins. Its nearest ally may be Dendrobium juncoideum.

Cultivation: Probably quite difficult. Cool growing terrestrial, prefers light position.