Accepted name: Dendrochilum latifolium Lindl., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 29(Misc.): 56 (1843)

Subgenus – Platyclinis. Section – Platyclinis.

The text is below the photos.
This drawing is by Oakes Ames

This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.

This photo was taken by Peter O'Byrne and is reproduced courtesy of Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium, Jany Renz.



Platyclinis latifolia (Lindl.) Hemsl., Gard. Chron., n.s., 16: 656 (1881).

Acoridium latifolium (Lindl.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 12: 220 (1904).


Origin in the Wild


Luzon, Mindoro and Mindanao


Elevation in the Wild


300-1665 metres


Habitat in the Wild


Plants have been collected from Pampanga Province on Mount Arayat; Quezon Province on Mount Binuang; Bataan Province along the Lamao River on Mount Mariveles and Mount Bataan and Camarines Sur on Mount Isarog.


On Mindoro this species has been collected on Mount Halcon and was described as growing in forests. (Ames 1907).


On Mindanao it has been found in South Cotabato in the Tasaday Forest.


The Plants Description


The pseudobulbs cluster on a short rhizome and are shaped slenderly obpyriform. The pseudobulbs measure 2.2-6.5cm long and 0.5-1.5cm in diameter. The pseudobulbs are covered by 4-5 cataphylls while they are growing. The cataphylls soon disintegrate into persistent fibres after flowering and as the pseudobulbs mature. The leaves are petiolate, the petiole measures 3.5-19.5cm long. The leaf blades measure 11.9-34.5cm long and 1.9-6.0cm wide. The leaf blades are shaped lanceolate to narrowly elliptic and have subacute apices. The leaves are thin textured and have 7-11 distinct nerves.


The Inflorescence


The inflorescence is synanthous. The peduncle is suberect to curved and measures 12.5-40.8cm long. The rachis is pendent and measures 11.0-29.0cm long. The flowers alternate distichously and are spaced 3.0-4.5mm apart. There are 1-5 appressed non-floriferous bracts at the base of the rachis. The flowers open from the proximal section of the rachis.


The Flowers


The flower has yellowish-green sepals and petals and a brown labellum. The sepals and petals spread widely. The dorsal sepal is shaped linear to linear-lanceolate and has an acuminate apex. The dorsal sepal measures 5.5-10.2mm long and 1.4-3.4mm wide. The dorsal sepal is three veined and has an entire margin. The lateral sepals are shaped linear-lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong, often slightly oblique and have acuminate apices. The lateral sepals measure 5.4-10.6mm long and 1.7-3.6mm wide. The lateral sepals are three veined and have entire margins. The lateral sepals can have a few minute trichomes. The petals are shaped lanceolate to elliptic and have acuminate to acute apices. The petals measure 4.9-8.8mm long and 1.5-4.0mm wide. The petals are three veined and have finely erose to nearly entire margins. The petals have a few minute trichomes. The labellum is easily versatile, pendent and 3-lobed. The labellum measures 2.7-5.2mm long and 1.5-4.0mm wide. The labellum is obscurely three veined and has erose or slightly irregular margins from the base to the apices of the side lobes; the remaining margins are entire. The side lobes are spreading to erect shaped linear-triangular and have acute apices. The mid-lobe is shaped broadly elliptic-oblong and has an obtuse to subacute apex that is sometimes acuminate or rounded and finely apiculate. The labellum is finely papillose. There are two small calli located on the lateral nerves at the base of the mid-lobe. The column is suberect, somewhat incurved and measures 2.0-2.9mm long. The apical wing is prolonged into a rounded apex with a dentate to nearly entire margin. The apical wing distinctly exceeds the anther cap. The stelidia grow upwards from the base of the column and are distinctly shorter than the column apex. The stelidia are shaped linear to falcately linear-triangular, sometimes with a small tooth below the apices.


Herbarium Specimens




I could not locate the specimen




Other herbarium specimen


Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (K)


Specimen 73009.000

Specimen 19470.000

Specimen 19726.000

Specimen 74039.000

Specimen K000079154 (photo)


National Herbarium Netherlands (L)


Specimen L0322540






Flowering Season


Flowering plants have been collected in the wild during February to August. Flowering plants have been known to flower during autumn in Europe.




This species is found in cultivation globally.


Similar Species


Dendrochilum latifolium var macranthum (see this page for the differences)

Dendrochilum magnum

Dendrochilum imbricatum


Other Information


This species is very often confused with Dendrochilum magnum on internet sites, photos, plant labels and show tables. I have noticed that users on US and Australian orchid forums have recently been saying that the two species are synonymous. I do not know where these claims have originated from and I have not seen a published document to back these claims up. The key differences between the two species are outlined by Henrik Pedersen (1997), I have copied them below:


Dendrochilum magnum. The labellum more or less porrect with a somewhat cymbiform conformation. Column strongly incurved; stelidia subequal to the column proper.


Dendrochilum latifolium. Labellum pendent, flat (side lobes often erect). Column slightly incurved; stelidia shorter than the column proper.


The differences between Dendrochilum latifolium var latifolium and Dendrochilum latifolium var macranthum were described by Henrik Pedersen (1997) as:


1.            Cataphylls not conspicuously inflated, still entire at the time of flowering. Leaf blade usually less than 4cm wide………………………………..….var. latifolium

1.       Cataphylls conspicuously inflated, already at the time of flowering torn so   as to produce dark, c.5mm long, triangular teeth. Leaf blade usually more than 4cm wide…………………………………………………………………...var. macranthum


There is a specimen at Leiden with a provenance labelled as Kalimantan. Jeffrey Wood suspected that the label was an error based on the fact he had seen no live specimens on Borneo (Wood 2001).


Reference -


AMES, Oakes. 1905, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 1, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


AMES, Oakes. 1907, Orchidaceae Halconenses: An Enumeration of the Orchids Collected on and Near Mount Halcon, Mindoro, Chiefly By E.D. Merrill, Bureau of Printing, Manila.


AMES, Oakes. 1908, Illustrations and studies of the Family Orchidaceae Facsimile 2, Ames Botanical Laboratory, North Easton, Massachusetts, Boston.


PEDERSEN, Henrik. 1997, The Genus Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae) in the Philippines - A Taxonomic Revision. Opera Botanica, Denmark


WOOD, Jeffrey. Dendrochilum of Borneo, 2001. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Malaysia.


World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 15 September 2008. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 15 September 2008.