Dendrobium herpetophytum Schltr., in K.Schum. & Lauterb., Nachtr. Fl. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. Südsee (1905) 172; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 21 (1928) t. 214, fig. 809.
Type: Schlechter 14059 (holo B, lost; iso K).
Rhizome elongated, rooting, creeping, roots elongated, filiform, flexuose, glabrous. Stems slender, terete, branching at the base, many-leaved. Leaf sheaths entirely covering the stem. Leaves erect-patent, linear to linear-ligulate, 0.7-1.2 by 0.15-0.2 cm, apex obtuse, coriaceous. Inflorescences arising laterally from the stem, 1-flowered, sessile, at the base with a laterally compressed cucullate sheath. Floral bract minute, much shorter than the pedicel and ovary. Pedicel and ovary 0.5 cm long, clavate, glabrous. Flower not resupinated, c. 0.8 cm long. Dorsal sepal oblong, 0.4 cm long, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals obliquely oblong, much widened at the base, 0.4 cm long, apex obtuse; mentum c. 0.4 cm long, obtuse. Petals obliquely subfalcate, oblanceolate-spathulate, a little shorter than the sepals, apex obtuse. Lip obovate-elliptic, 0.4 cm long, at the base with a short claw, the basal margins on either side with an obtuse auricle, in basal half with two semilunate slightly crenulate lamellae which are confluent to the base and apex; margins just below the apex incurved, apex obtuse. Column very short; column-foot c. 0.4 cm long. Anther rounded-cucullate.
(after Schlechter, 1905).
Colours: Flower white, lip with rose-red markings.
Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest. Altitude 1500-1800 m.
Flowering time in the wild: January, November.
Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).
Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (Eastern Highlands Province).
Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte.