Dendrobium lancilabium

Dendrobium lancilabium J.J.Sm., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 66 (1934) 198.

Type: Mayr 370 (holo L).

Erect to pendulous stemmed epiphyte. Roots 0.8-1.2 mm diameter. Rhizome short. Stems to 30 by 0.2-0.4 cm, of uniform thickness, 5-22-noded, internodes 0.4-3.5 cm long, slightly fractiflex (zigzag), recorded as blackish, older stems usually with several coarse fibres at nodes, with up to 5 leaves borne at upper nodes. Leaves 1.2-3.2 by 0.4-1.6 cm, broadly elliptic, ovate or oblong, apparently always slightly but distinctly constricted above middle, many nerved with 3-5 nerves more prominent than others, margins smooth or minutely crenulate, apex obtuse, mucronate, base rounded sessile; sheaths ribbed, persistent for some way down stem, becoming more fibrous with age. Inflorescence 1(-2)-flowered, sessile, terminal or from upper nodes of leafless stems; bracts 3-6 mm long, ovate-acuminate, sheathing, membranous with raphids present. Flowers (27-)30-35(-38) mm long. Median sepal 12-21 by 3-6.5 mm, elliptic-lanceolate, acute to acuminate. Lateral sepals (17-)21-29 by 5-8.5 mm, narrowly triangular, oblique, tips spreading the apical free part curving outwards almost at right angles, apex acuminate; basal fused part 4-7 mm, narrowly conical, mentum total length 15-18 mm, tip obtuse. Petals 10-19.5 by 3-5 mm, obliquely elliptic-lanceolate, apex acuminate. Lip 15-30 by 2.5-5.5 mm, subtrilobate, linear-lanceolate, margins adnate to column foot for c.7 mm at base, transverse callus absent, margins of free part slightly incurved and indistinctly contracted in the upper 3 4, apex acute, apiculate. Column c. 3.5 mm, long; foot 14.5-18 mm long, slightly curved; anther c. 2.6 mm broad; pollinia c. 1.8 mm long. Ovary triangular in cross section, narrowly clavate, 6-grooved and scurfy punctate, pedicel and ovary to 24 mm long. Fruit not observed.
(after Reeve & Woods, 1989).

Colours: Flowers blood-red to orange-red.

Habitat: Epiphyte in mossy forest; on trunk of Nothofagus. Altitude 1000 to 1980 m.

Flowering time in the wild: July, November, December.

Distribution: New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Wandamen Peninsula; Vogelkop Peninsula).

Map: LANCIMAP.JPG [Dendrobium lancilabium J.J.Sm., distribution map, redrawn from T.M. Reeve & P.J.B. Woods, Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 46 (1989) 289, map 16.]

Notes: Dendrobium lancilabium has two features which seem to be consistent: the abrupt narrowing of the apical 1/2-1/4 of the ovate-oblong leaf blade and the distinctive sweep of the tips of the lateral sepals at almost right angles to the ovary. Smith's description describes the inflorescence as 2-flowered but Reeve & Woods (1990) have only observed 1-flowered inflorescences.

(largely after Reeve & Woods, 1989).

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte.