Dendrobium lineale

Dendrobium lineale Rolfe, Gard. Chron. (1889, II) 381.

Type: Veitch cult. s.n. (E. New Guinea) (holo K).

An erect epiphytic or lithophytic herb. Stems clustered on a short rhizome, 0.5-3.2 cm tall, up to 2.5 cm diam., cane-like, leafy in upper two-thirds. Leaves coriaceous, oblong-elliptic to elliptic, obtuse to rounded at unequally bilobed apex, up to 135 by 8.5 cm, articulated to tubular sheaths up to 4.5 cm long. Inflorescences 24-75 cm long, laxly or densely 17-20 or more-flowered; peduncle 10-15 cm long; bracts lanceolate to elliptic, subacute to acuminate, 6-9 mm long, papery. Flowers: pedicel and ovary 4.1-7 cm long. Dorsal sepal recurved, linear or linear-lanceolate, acuminate, 1.8-2 by 0.5-0.6 cm, often twisted; lateral sepals recurved, obliquely lanceolate-falcate, acute, 1.8-2 by 1-1.3 cm; mentum conical, 8-11 mm long, decurved towards apex. Petals erect, spathulate, rounded or truncate at apex, 2.2-3 by 0.4-0.6 cm, half- or not twisted. Lip 3-lobed, 2-2.4 by 15-1.6 cm; side-lobes obliquely elliptic, obtuse or rounded in front, margins erose; midlobe oblong, apiculate, with erose and undulate margins; callus of three keels all elevated on centre of midlobe. Column 6 mm long.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Colours: Flowers white or pale yellow with white, bluish or pink petals and a purple- or violet-veined lip.

Habitat: Epiphyte in rainforest, also lithophytic. Altitude 0-800 m.

Distribution: New Guinea and adjacent islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Jayapura Regency); Papua New Guinea (widespread in the lowlands north of the central mountain range).

Map: LINEAMAP.JPG [Dendrobium lineale Rolfe, distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 41 (1986) 658, map 6, with new records added.]

Notes: Dendrobium lineale is closely allied to, and often confused with Dendrobium gouldii, a species from the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands. It differs, however, in its shorter, less twisted spathulate petals with obtuse, rounded or truncate tips and a lip in which the midlobe is oblong with an undulate margin and rather oblong raised lamellae on its upper surface. Its flowers are usually white with white, bluish, lilac or pink petals and a purple- or violet-veined lip. However, pale yellow-flowered forms have been recorded although this may be the result of introgression from the closely allied and sympatric Dendrobium sylvanum.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, prefers light position.