Dendrobium nindii

Dendrobium nindii W.Hill, Rep. Brisbane Bot. Gard. (1874) 7.

Type: Nind s.n. (holo ?BRI).

An epiphytic herb. Stems up to 2.5 m tall, 4 cm diam., but usually shorter, cane-like but slightly dilated at base and in middle. Leaves distichous, coriaceous, elliptic to ovate, unequally rounded bilobed at apex, 5-15 by 3.8 cm. Inflorescences 1-4 from upper nodes, erect or drooping, 35-45 cm long, 8-20-flowered; bracts elliptic, acute, 4 mm long. Flowers opening widely; pedicel and ovary 2.8-3.2 cm long. Dorsal sepal oblong-elliptic, obtuse, 2.6-4 by 0.8-1.2 cm, usually recurved and slightly twisted; lateral sepals oblong-lanceolate to narrowly triangular, acute, 2.9-4 by 1.2-1.5 cm; mentum broadly conical, 1.3-1.5 cm long. Petals suberect, linear, obtuse, 3-5 by 0.5-0.6 cm, usually twice- or three times twisted. Lip 3-lobed, elliptic to circular in outline, 3-4 by 3-4 cm; side-lobes semicircular, rounded and erose in front; midlobe transversely oblong or elliptic, obtuse to emarginate, 0.5-0.6 by 1-1.2 cm, scarcely reflexed; callus of three ridges tapering out at base of midlobe. Column 8 mm long.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Colours: Stems brownish black often striped with purple. Sepals white; petals white with faint mauve or lilac stripes; lip pale mauve or lilac with darker veins and a purple edged callus.

Habitat: Epiphyte in rainforest, swamp forest, and mangroves. Altitude: 0 to 600 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, February, May, June, December.

Distribution: Australia (Queensland), New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Vogelkop Peninsula; Eilanden River); Papua New Guinea (widespread, usually not far from the coast).

Map: NINDIMAP.JPG [Dendrobium nindii W.Hill, distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 41 (1986) 644, map 4.]

Notes: Dendrobium nindii is a large and attractively flowered orchid, according to Cribb most closely related to the Philippines species Dendrobium taurinum but distinguished by its flower colour and lip on which the callus ridges taper to the apex on the midlobe.

The status of Schlechter's variety pomatophilum is uncertain as only his sketch of a floral dissection survives. P.J. Cribb (1986) has therefore tentatively placed it in the synonymy of Dendrobium nindii although the midlobe of the lip in Schlechter's sketch indicates that it may belong elsewhere or possibly be a hybrid of Dendrobium nindii.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, requires strong light and a humid atmosphere. Rather difficult to grow successfully.