Dendrobium tapiniense

Dendrobium tapiniense T.M.Reeve, Orchadian 6 (1980) 223.

Type: Reeve 315 (holo LAE; iso CBG, E, K, L).

A medium-sized epiphytic herb. Pseudobulbs clavate, sulcate, about 5-noded, 10-15 or more cm long, 1-1.5 cm diam., 2-leaved at apex. Leaves coriaceous, narrowly elliptic, obtuse and unequally bilobed at apex, about 15 by 4.5-5 cm. Inflorescence erect, 10-15-flowered; peduncle 10-15 cm long; bracts ovate, acute, 5 mm long. Flowers showy, spreading. Dorsal sepal ovate, obtuse, 2.1 by 1.2 cm; lateral sepals oblique, triangular-ovate, obtuse, 1.8 by 1.7 cm, forming with the column foot an obliquely conical mentum 1.3 cm long. Petals oblong, obtuse, 2.2 by 0.8 cm, with undulate margins. Lip 3-lobed, strongly recurved, 2 by 2.2 cm; side lobes subquadrate, truncate, ± 1.3 cm long and broad, margins undulate; midlobe ± conduplicate, transversely oblong, emarginate, apiculate, 1.2 cm long, 2.2 cm broad, margins strongly undulate; callus glossy, of two transverse ridges, the basal one broadly triangular from above, the apical one of three ridges, the outer ones being longer than the central one. Column short, 3 mm long; foot 1 cm long.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Colours: Flowers creamy white, spotted purple on sepals, petals and midlobe of lip, veined and spotted with purple on side-lobes of lip; callus white; column white, flecked with purple on foot.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forests. Altitude 1500 to 1950 m.

Flowering time in the wild: December, January.

Distribution: New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (Central Province).

Map: TAPINMAP.JPG [Dendrobium tapiniense T.M.Reeve, distribution map, redrawn from P. Cribb, Kew Bull. 38 (1983) 250, map 4.]

Notes: Dendrobium tapiniense is a most distinctive species which, in many ways, resembles some of the species with hairy flowers such as Dendrobium macrophyllum A.Rich. and Dendrobium finisterrae Schltr. However, its flowers are entirely glabrous, and it is readily recognised by its heavily spotted sepals and petals, and by its lip which has a distinctive callus and very undulate margins.
(after Cribb, 1983).

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte.