Dendrobium lamii

Dendrobium lamii J.J.Sm., Nova Guinea 14 (1929) 435, pl. 69, 83.

Type: Lam 1826 (syn L); 1992 (syn BO).

Stems crowded, elongated, slender, branching and rooting, flexuose, 45 cm long, internodes to 2.4 cm long. Leaf sheaths ribbed, verruculose on the ribs. Leaves patent, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 1-1.15 by 0.2-0.37 cm, carnose, margins in apical part minutely cartilaginous-denticulate, apex subulate-apiculate. Inflorescences lateral from defoliated stems, 1- or 2-flowered, 0.25 cm long, very short. Floral bract broadly triangular, 0.48 cm long, apex acuminate, outside keeled, verruculose. Pedicel and ovary 2.2. cm long, clavate, sigmoid. Flower c. 2 cm long. Dorsal sepal 0.9 cm by 5.2 mm; mentum conical, 1.13 cm long. Petals 0.88 cm by 3.7 mm, apical margin incurved. Lip a little shorter than the column, when flattened 1.2 by 0.9 cm, apex cucullate, triplicate, in the middle serrate, with the teeth decreasing in length to the sides. Column short; column-foot 1.1 cm long, with a covering membrane which is emarginate at the apex.
(after Smith, 1929).

Colours: Flowers dark violet to bluish violet, lip at apex very dark violet, column at apex salmon-pink to light bluish violet.

Habitat: Epiphyte in light mossy montane forest. Altitude 2550 to 2850 m.

Flowering time in the wild: October, November.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Jaya Wijaya Regency).

Notes: Dendrobium lamii is especially noteworthy because of its beautifully bluish violet to dark violet flowers. In other respects, especially the small leaves and (often) 1-flowered inflorescences, it is most akin to Dendrobium parvifolium and Dendrobium dillonianum.

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, keep in shade.