Dendrobium erythraeum

Dendrobium erythraeum Schuit. & de Vogel (nom. nov.), Blumea 48 (2003) 509
Basionym: Dockrillia hepatica.

Pendulous epiphyte forming sparse clumps to about 1 m long. Aerial roots absent. Stems straight, 3-7 cm by 1-2 mm. Leaves linear-terete, 10-20 cm by 5-6 mm, pendulous. Racemes 2-4 cm long, wiry, arising singly from nodes at the leaf base, bearing 3-5 flowers. Pedicel 4-7 mm long, filiform. Ovary 1-2 mm long, hardly developed at anthesis. Flowers about 2 cm across, opening widely. Dorsal sepal very narrowly ovate-lanceolate, 1.2-1.4 cm by 2.3-2.5 mm, erect to recurved; apex long-acuminate. Lateral sepals asymmetrically lanceolate, very strongly falcate, 1.2-1.4 cm by 3.5-4.5 mm, divergent; apex obtusely acuminate. Petals narrowly elliptical-lanceolate, 1.1-1.2 cm by c. 1.5 mm, porrect to incurved over the column and lip; apex attenuate. Lip thin textured, porrect in the basal four-fifths, with apex recurved at right angles or more, 8.5-10 by 3.5-4 mm when flattened; lateral lobes more or less oblong, 5-6 by 1.5 mm, incurved, with outer margins papillate, midlobe narrowly ovate-deltate, 3.5-4 mm, thin-textured, with margins strongly convolute, and apex subacuminate; callus of three narrow, very tall ridges, c. 0.5 mm high, becoming sinuate on the mid-lobe, ending half to three quarters the distance to the apex. Column 1.5-2.5 by 1.5-1.8 mm, porrect from the end of the ovary, glabrous; column foot 4-5 by c. 1 mm, at about 10 degrees to the column, shallowly channelled, glabrous. Stigma c. 1.8 by 1.5 mm, deeply sunken. Anther 1 by 1 mm, with a lacerate rostrum. Pollinia oblong c. 0.9 mm long, waxy. Fruit not seen.
(after Clements & Jones, 1996).

Colours: Leaves dark green. Flowers greenish cream heavily spotted and suffused with dark red; lip dark red with a blackish red apex. Pollinia orange.

Habitat: Epiphyte on trees in Castanopsis-Ternstroemia ridge forest. Altitude not recorded.

Flowering time in the wild: Not known. Flowers of cultivated plants last 3-5 days.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

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

Map: ERYTHMAP.JPG [Dendrobium erythraeum Schuit. & de Vogel, distribution map.]

Notes: Dendrobium erythraeum resembles Dendrobium flagellum, but the latter species has cream flowers, the petals lack an attenuate apex and the lip is larger with prominently elliptic lateral lobes.
(after Clements & Jones, 1996).

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.