Dendrobium odoardii

Dendrobium odoardii Kraenzl., in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV. 50. II. B. 21 (1910) 157.

Type: Beccari s.n. (New Guinea, Antus) (holo FI).

An epiphytic herb. Stems cane-like, more than 30 cm long (probably much more), slightly compressed, 1-1.5 cm diam. Leaves coriaceous, ovate-oblong or oblong, obtuse at bilobed apex, up to 15 by 4.7 cm, shiny, articulated to reticulately veined basal sheath. Inflorescence laxly many-flowered, up to 20 cm long; peduncle 10-11 cm long; bracts minute, oblong, acute to obtuse, 4 mm long. Flowers waxy in texture; pedicel and ovary 3 cm long. Dorsal sepal revolute, oblong to lanceolate, acute to obtuse, 2.1-3 by 0.95 cm long; lateral sepals subtriangular-oblong, acute or obtuse, 3-3.3 by 0.8-1.2 cm long; mentum 0.8-1.45 cm long. Petals erect, spathulate, rounded at apex, 2.65-3.75 by 1.1 cm. Lip 3-lobed, 2-3.25 by 0.26 cm; side-lobes rhombic, rounded in front; midlobe deltoid, almost rectangular; obtuse, much wider than long; callus of 3 or 5 ridges, mid-ridge undulate and raised on midlobe. Column 7.7 mm long.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Colours: Inflorescence dark violet, minutely spotted with yellow. Flowers yellow sometimes chestnut-brown suffused; lip yellow with pale green sides, veins brown; callus violet; column violet in front.

Habitat: Not known.

Distribution: New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Humboldt Bay?).

Notes: Dendrobium odoardii is an obscure species. J. J. Smith (1929) tentatively identified as this species a specimen collected at Humboldt Bay on the north coast of West New Guinea and flowered in cultivation by J. Demmeni. He received confirmation of his identification from Kraenzlin, but commented that the Demmeni plant, which he figured, had bracts that were not reflexed, smaller flowers with a callus of five ridges and a transversely oblong rather than deltoid midlobe. Cribb (1986) has seen a plant in cultivation at the Bogor Botanic Garden which agrees with J.J. Smith's rather than with Kraenzlin's description.

Dendrobium odoardii differs from Dendrobium aries in having an oblong lip with a transversely oblong midlobe much broader than long, a five-ridged callus and shorter broader less twisted petals. Both species appear most closely allied to Dendrobium conanthum in which the midlobe of the lip is much longer than broad and acute or apiculate.
(after Cribb, 1986).

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, prefers light position.