Dendrobium goldfinchii

Dendrobium goldfinchii F.Muell., S. Sci. Rec. 3 (1883) 4.

Type: King cult. (Goldfinch) s.n. (Solomon Isl.) (holo MEL).

"Stems upwards almost flat, with but slight petiolar denticulations, the joints mostly concealed by the pale adnate sheathing leaf-stalks; leaves alternate, forming two rows, lanceolate-linear somewhat carnulent, not streaken, their flattened edges turned towards the stem; flowers few, in terminal racemes, rather large, tender-membranous, quite glabrous, pale greenish with a faint tinge of yellow; stalklets at the base closely surrounded by bracts, passing gradually into the narrow and short ovarigerous calyx-tube; upper calyx-lobe ovate-lanceolar; inner lobes nearly as long as the other, lanceolar; lower lobes deltoid, decurrent into the ample pouchlike anteriorly-slit projection; all lobes several times shorter than the latter; lip ín outline obovate-cuneate, in texture and color similar to the rest of the calyx, reaching from the base of the projection to the summit of the lobes, soon recurved ; its lobules exceedingly short ; the middle one cleft into two roundish segments; the lateral lobules, also roundish; undivided portion of the lip traversed along its middle longitudinally by a broad-linear smooth yellowish plate with slightly prominent marginal lines and a faint terminal green dilatation; genital column adnate up to the anther, bearing at the anterior base a depressed oval green callus; pairs of pollen-masses clavate-ellipsoid, upwards coherent."
(F. von Mueller, 1883).

Colours: Flower pale greenish tinged yellow.

Habitat: Epiphyte in the lowlands.

Flowering time in the wild: Not known.

Distribution: New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa.

Distribution in New Guinea: Not known.

Notes: A member of sect. Crumenata with laterally flattened leaves. Lewis & Cribb (1991) report Dendrobium goldfinchii, which was originally described from the Solomon Islands, from New Guinea. They also suggest that the true identity of this species is uncertain due to the loss of the type collection and the variability of the Solomon Island material they examined. We have here cited von Mueller's own description, vague as it is. Dendrobium hymenocentrum is apparently very similar, as also noted by Lewis & Cribb. See notes under Dendrobium macfarlanei for a discussion.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.