Dendrobium womersleyi

Dendrobium womersleyi T.M.Reeve, Orchadian 7 (1982) 135, fig. 6.

Type: Reeve 394 (holo LAE; iso AMES, BISH, BO, CBG, E, K, L, NSW, UPNG).

A terrestrial or epiphytic, more or less erect, herb, up to 1.2 m tall. Roots smooth, 1-2.5 mm diameter. Rhizomes very short. Stems cylindrical, branched, somewhat flexuous towards the apex, many-leaved, 10-120 by 0.1-0.35 cm, with nodes 0.5-4.0 cm apart. Leaves lanceolate, 1.0-4.2 by 0.2-0.9 cm, aristate-acuminate. lnflorescences 1- to 3-flowered, arising from the upper nodes of both leafy and leafless stems, peduncle and rachis short. Bracts ovate, c. 10 by 6 mm, acuminate. Ovary with pedicel 1.3-2 cm long. Flowers 2-2.5 cm long, glabrous. Dorsal sepal elliptic to lanceolate, 1.1-1.4 cm by 4-5.5 mm, subacute; lateral sepals 1.9-2.3 cm by 6-7.5 mm; mentum apex obtuse, often bilobed. Petals obliquely ovate-lanceolate, 12-14 by 4.5-5.5 mm, acute. Lip elliptic (when expanded), 1.6-2 cm by 8-10 mm (expanded), adnate to the column foot at the base for 2.5 mm, apex shortly but usually distinctly cucullate (rarely not cucullate). Column c. 4 by 3 mm; column foot 8-11 mm long; anther c. 1.5 by 1.5 mm; pollinia c. 1.25 mm long.
(after Reeve, 1982)

Colours: Flowers orange to golden yellow. Anther whitish to yellow (sometimes brownish). Pollinia golden-yellow. Roots white with orange tips. Stems brown (new shoots dark purple).

Habitat: (Semi-)terrestrial plants rooting in litter and moss at the base of shrubs and trees in rather shady positions. Altitude 1200 to 1800 m.

Flowering time in the wild: April, June, July, October. Flowers last two to three weeks.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Jaya Wijaya Regency); Papua New Guinea (Southern Highlands, Enga, and Western Highlands Provinces).

Map: WOMERMAP.JPG [Dendrobium womersleyi T.M.Reeve, distribution map.]

Notes: In habit, Dendrobium womersleyi is much like Dendrobium apertum, having similar long, slender stems with spreading, aristate leaves. However, the lip is only weakly cucullate at the apex (strongly so in D. apertum). It appears to be an uncommon species in the wild.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, prefers a humus-rich, well-drained soil mixture and a shaded position.