Dendrobium hodgkinsonii

Dendrobium hodgkinsonii Rolfe ex Hook.f., Bot. Mag. 126 (1900) t. 7724.

Type: Sander cult. s.n. (holo K).

An epiphytic herb. Pseudobulbs clavate or subclavate, about 4-5-noded below leaves, 9-30 by 0.6-1.8 cm, yellow, 2-3-leaved at apex. Leaves coriaceous, elliptic-ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, acute, 11-15 by 2-4 cm. Inflorescence terminal or subterminal, erect or spreading, 2-5-flowered, up to 15 cm long bracts elliptic, acute, 7-9 cm long. Flowers large, spreading to subnutant. Dorsal sepal lanceolate, acute, 2.7 by 0.8 cm; lateral sepals, obliquely lanceolate, acuminate, 2.6 by 1.3 cm; mentum conical, 1 cm long. Petals linear-lanceolate, acuminate, 2.8 by 0.5 cm, with undulate margins. Lip 3-lobed, 3.3 by 2.4 cm; side-lobes erect, semicircular; midlobe much longer than side-lobes, ovate, acuminate and slightly recurved at apex; callus three-ridged, not raised at apex. Column short, 3.5 mm long, with an acute stelidium on each side at apex; foot straight, 1 cm long.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Colours: Sepals creamy yellow; petals white; lip yellow, heavily veined with maroon; callus white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lower montane forest.

Flowering time in the wild: Not known.

Distribution: ?New Guinea, ?Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands (Bougainville).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (locality unknown; possibly also in New Britain).

Notes: Dendrobium hodgkinsonii appears to be related to Dendrobium spectabile and Dendrobium alexandrae. The type material was said to originate from New Guinea, but it still awaits rediscovery there. This poorly known species was found for the first time since its original description on the island of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands by Mr. Barry Middlemiss, around 1985 (Howcroft 1995). A vegetatively similar plant was later collected on New Britain.

Cultivation: Probably warm growing epiphyte.