Dendrobium melanotrichum

Dendrobium melanotrichum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 558; 21 (1923) t. 188, fig. 704.

Type: Schlechter 20093 (holo B, lost).

Rhizome very short, roots elongated, filiform, flexuose, glabrous. Stems crowded, erect or patent, slender, rather fleshy, subflexuose, 30-40 cm by 3-4 mm, many-leaved, unbranched. Leaf sheaths entirely covering the stem, densely covered with prickly black hairs. Leaves erect-patent, lanceolate-oblong, 1.5-3 by 0.4-0.7 cm, apex unequally and obtusely bilobulate, coriaceous. Inflorescences lateral from the stems, 1-flowered, rarely 2-flowered; peduncle very short. Floral bract deltoid, minute, much shorter than the pedicel and ovary. Pedicel and ovary 1 cm long, subclavate, glabrous. Flower resupinated, c. 1.5 cm across, nodding. Dorsal sepal oblong, slightly narrowed to the base, 0.9 cm long, apex apiculate. Lateral sepals obliquely oblong, widened at the base, 0.9 cm long, apex apiculate; mentum conical, 0.5 cm long, obtuse. Petals obliquely oblanceolate-spathulate, 0.9 cm long, margins irregular, apex obtuse. Lip 3-lobed in apical third, 1.6 by 0.45 cm across lateral lobes, narrowly cuneate at the concave base, with 3 subparallel keels extending from the base of the lip to the base of the midlobe, the keels thickened towards the apex; lateral lobes tooth-like, minute, acute; midlobe suborbicular, 0.5 by 0.65 cm, margins undulate-crenulate, apex rounded, obtusely apiculate. Column short, glabrous, clinandrium 3-lobulate; lateral lobules rounded, the median shorter, tooth-like; column-foot 0.5 cm long. Anther subcordate-cucullate, in front minutely papillose.
(after Schlechter, 1912).

Colours: Flowers yellowish with light brown veins.

Habitat: Epiphyte in hill forest. Altitude 900 m.

Flowering time in the wild: September.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (Sandaun Province: Torricelli Mountains).

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.