Dendrobium litorale Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 567; 21 (1923) t. 190, fig. 714.
Type: Schlechter 19214; 19958 (B, lost; AD, G, L, NSW, S).
Rhizome very short, roots elongated, filiform, flexuose, glabrous. Stems crowded, erect, slender, 2 to 4 internodes above the base usually swollen, 4-6-angled, up to 60 cm long, many-leaved in basal half, slightly flattened, bare in upper half. Leaves bilaterally flattened, obliquely linear, 4.5-6 by 0.3-0.4 cm, apex acute, coriaceous. Inflorescences lateral from the bare upper part of the stems, 1-flowered, fasciculate, with the flowers appearing in succession. Floral bracts ovate, minute, much shorter than the pedicel and ovary, apex apiculate. Pedicel and ovary 1.2 cm long, slender, glabrous. Flowers resupinated, 1.5 cm long, thin-textured. Dorsal sepal ovate, 0.55 cm long, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals obliquely ovate, much widened at the base, 0.55 cm long, apex obtuse; mentum oblongoid, 1 cm long, slightly curved. Petals obliquely oblong-ligulate, 0.55 cm long, apex obtuse. Lip 3-lobed in apical fourth, 1.3 by 1 cm, basal part ligulate-cuneate, broadly cuneate above the middle, with three close weak ribs extending from the base of the lip to the base of the midlobe; lateral lobes semirhombic, obtuse; midlobe semiquadrate, deeply bipartite, much surpassing the lateral lobes. Column short, clinandrium weakly 3-lobulate; column-foot linear-ligulate, 1 cm long, concave. Anther rounded-cucullate, in front truncate and papillose.
(after Schlechter, 1912).
Colours: Flowers pale yellow with red veins.
Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland and beach forest. Altitude 10-15 m.
Flowering time in the wild: April, July.
Distribution: New Guinea, Australia.
Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (Morobe Province, probably widespread).
Notes: Closely related to, and perhaps referable to Dendrobium macfarlanei. See under that species for a discussion.
Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, prefers light position.