Dendrobium simplex

Dendrobium simplex J.J.Sm., Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, sér. 2, 2 (1911) 8; Nova Guinea 12, 1 (1913) 40, t. 11, fig. 30.

Type: Kock, de 113.

A dwarf epiphytic herb. Pseudobulbs clustered, globose or obpyriform, 0.65-2 by 1-2 cm, rugulose, reddish purple, 2-leaved at apex. Leaves spreading or suberect, coriaceous, ovate or ovate-elliptic, obtuse or subacute, 2-4 by 1.2-1.6 cm. Inflorescence erect or spreading, few-flowered, up to 8 cm long; bracts lanceolate, acute, 3-4.5 mm long. Flowers small, greenish red with a white callus; pedicel and ovary 1.2 cm long. Dorsal sepal oblong-elliptic, rounded at apex, 0.9-1.5 by 0.9 cm; lateral sepals obliquely triangular, acute or subacute, 1-1.8 by 1.1 cm; mentum broadly conical, 0.9 cm long. Petals elliptic, obtuse, 1.4 by 0.7 cm, with somewhat erose margins. Lip entire, oblong-elliptic, rounded at apex, 1.2 by 1 cm, with incurved margins; callus fleshy, 3-ridged. Column 2 mm long; foot 7-9 mm long.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Colours: Flowers greenish tinged red with a white callus on the lip.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest and scrub, often on trunks of Nothofagus. Altitude 2400 to 3100 m.

Flowering time in the wild: March.

Distribution: New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (widespread in the central mountain range; Vogelkop Peninsula: Arfak Mountains); Papua New Guinea (Enga Province).

Map: SIMPLMAP.JPG [Dendrobium simplex J.J.Sm., distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 38 (1983) 267, map 5.]

Notes: Despite its small size, Dendrobium simplex undoubtedly should be placed in sect. Latouria. It is allied to Dendrobium cruttwellii and has a similar flower with an entire lip with incurved margins but is readily distinguished by its smaller size, globose rugulose pseudobulbs and ovate or ovate-elliptic leaves lacking a noticeable petiole.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, keep in shade.