Dendrobium finisterrae

Dendrobium finisterrae Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 495; 21 (1923) t. 168, fig. 626.

Type: Schlechter 19179 (holo B, lost; iso AMES, K).

An epiphytic herb up to 70 cm tall. Pseudobulbs clustered, erect, clavate, 30-50 by 3 cm, slightly bilaterally flattened above, about 5-noded below leaves, orange-yellow when dry, 2-leaved at apex. Leaves suberect, coriaceous, oblong-elliptic, obtuse to subacute, up to 23 by 9.5 cm. Inflorescences erect, up to 25 cm long, about 10-flowered; peduncle terete, bearing three short sheaths; bracts lanceolate, acute, 2.5 by 0.6 cm. Flowers large, not opening widely; setose on pedicel, ovary and backs of sepals; pedicel and ovary 5 cm long. Dorsal sepal lanceolate, acuminate, 3.2 by 0.8 cm; lateral sepals obliquely lanceolate, acuminate, 3.7 by 1.5 cm; mentum nose-like, incurved, 1.1 cm long. Petals oblanceolate, acute to apiculate, 3 by 1.3 cm. Lip 3-lobed, conduplicate, somewhat recurved, 2.7 by 3.2 cm when spread; side-lobes erect, subquadrate, truncate; midlobe broadly oblong-ovate, acute; callus 3-ridged, with a 7 mm long free apical part. Column short, 2.5 mm long; foot 11 mm long, bearing a hook-like projection or ligule in the centre towards apex.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Colours: Flowers yellow, heavily spotted with red or maroon on sepals and petals; lip yellow, heavily marked maroon.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forests. Altitude 900 to 2100 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, August.

Distribution: New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (Highland Provinces).

Map: FINISMAP.JPG [Dendrobium finisterrae Schltr., distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 38 (1983) 234, map 2.]

Notes: The incurved rather nose-like mentum, very hairy sepals and hook-like ligule on the column foot serve to distinguish Dendrobium finisterrae from the other species with hairy ovaries. It is probably most closely allied to Dendrobium eximium, both having a similarly shaped mentum, but in the latter the petals are very much larger than the dorsal sepal and are unspotted. The flowers of Dendrobium finisterrae have smaller creamy petals spotted towards the base and its flowers do not open at all widely.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.