Dendrobium lonchigerum

Family : Orchidaceae

Text © Pietro Puccio


English translation by Mario Beltramini


Dendrobium lonchigerum, Orchidaceae

Almost unknown in cultivation the Dendrobium lonchigerum is an epiphyte of New Guinea © Giuseppe Mazza

The species is native to New Guinea where it grows in the humid forests up to about 650 m of altitude.

The name of the genus is the combination of the Greek substantives “δένδρον” (dendron) = tree and “βίος” (bios) = life, with reference to the numerous species living on the trees; the specific name is the combination of the Greek substantive “λόγχη” (lonche) = spear and of the Latin verb “gero” = to carry, of unclear reference.

The Dendrobium lonchigerum Schltr. (1922) is an epiphyte species with creeping rhizome, ramified, and claviform-fusiform unifoliate pseudobulbs compressed laterally, 6-9 cm long and 0,5-1,2 cm thick, spaced of 3-5 cm. Lanceolate leaves with acute apex, coriaceous, 5-9 cm long and 2-2,6 cm broad, of intense green colour.

Apical inflorescences bearing one single flower, on a pedicel and ovary 0,6-0,8 cm long, white, of 1,8-2 cm of diameter. Lanceolate dorsal sepal with acute apex, 1,3 cm long, ovate-triangular lateral sepals with acute apex, 1,3 cm long, united at the base to form a sort of spur (mentum) with obtuse apex, about 0,5 cm long. Obliquely linear petals with acute apex, about 1 cm long, trilobate labellum, 1,2-1,3 cm long and 0,8 cm broad, with triangular lateral lobes with obtuse apex and elliptic median lobe with apiculate apex and slightly wavy edges, run from the base up to almost to the apex by 4 crests.

It reproduces by seed, in vitro, and by division, with each section provided of at least 3-4 pseudobulbs.

Species almost unknown in cultivation, present only in some specialized collection, requires a semi-shady position, medium-high temperatures, high humidity and constant light ventilation.

It is usually mounted on branches, pieces of bark or cork rafts in way to allow the pseudobulbs to freely expand. Regular watering during the growth of the pseudobulbs, but allowing to dry up before watering again, more spaced in winter till the beginning of the blooming, utilizing rain water, demineralized or by reverse osmosis. Divisions, transplants and repotting are to be done when the new roots signalling the vegetative restart do appear.

Dendrobium lonchigerum, Orchidaceae

Creeping rhizome, ramified, with claviform-fusiform unifoliate pseudobulbs laterally compressed and apical inflorescences with one single flower of 1,8-2 cm of diameter © Giuseppe Mazza

The species is inscribed in the appendix II of the CITES (species whose trade is ruled internationally).

Synonyms: Dendrobium simplicicaule J.J.Sm. (1929); Desmotrichum simplicicaule (J.J.Sm.) A.D.Hawkes (1957); Ephemerantha simplicicaulis (J.J.Sm.) P.F.Hunt & Summerh. (1961); Flickingeria simplicicaulis (J.J.Sm.) A.D.Hawkes (1961); Ephemerantha lonchigera (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt (1971); Flickingeria lonchigera (Schltr.) Schuit. & de Vogel (2003).


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