Dendrobium pachystele

Dendrobium pachystele Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 485; 21 (1923) t. 163, fig. 611.

Type: Schlechter 19182 (holo B, lost; iso AMES, G, L, S).

An epiphytic herb. Pseudobulbs slender, slightly dilated above; obscurely longitudinally sulcate, 10-25 by 0.7 cm, 1-leafed at apex. Leaf coriaceous, lanceolate or narrowly elliptic-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, 18-30 by 3.7-4.3 cm. Inflorescence lateral, short, laxly 3-6-flowered, c. 5 cm long; bracts broadly ovate, apiculate. Flowers fleshy. Dorsal sepal ovate, obtuse, 1.2 cm long; lateral sepals obliquely triangular, obtuse, 1.2 by 1 cm; mentum, incurved-conical, 9 mm long. Petals oblong-elliptic, acuminate, 1 cm long. Lip recurved, obscurely 3-lobed or entire, elliptic-obovate in outline, 1 by 1.2 cm; callus half length of lip, 3-ridged. Column very short, fleshy; foot 9 mm long.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Colours: Flowers whitish or creamy white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lower montane forest. Altitude 25 to 800 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, September.

Distribution: New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and possibly the Palau Islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (mountain ranges north of the central mountains).

Map: PACHYMAP.JPG [Dendrobium pachystele Schltr., distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 38 (1983) 289, map 7.]

Notes: Dendrobium pachystele is closely allied to Dendrobium informe and the Moluccan species Dendrobium ruttenii and Dendrobium laurensii, all having lateral as well as subterminal inflorescences and one-leafed pseudobulbs. Dendrobium pachystele differs in having a shorter mentum, an obtuse lip broadest in the middle and obtuse rather than apiculate or acuminate sepals.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.