Dendrobium is the second largest genus of the orchid family, and native to Southeast Asia. They are primarily epiphytes, meaning they grow on other plants.
Researches from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators from Indonesia found an enigmatic species identified as a member of Dendrobium sect. Grastidium from a cultivation collection in Indonesia. After a thorough morphological studies and literature review, they confirmed it as a species new to science, and named it Dendrobium niveolabium.
The findings were published in Phytotaxa.
Dendrobium niveolabium is similar to Dendrobium papyraceum, but it has narrowly oblong to lanceolate leaves, oblong to obovate petals, strongly recurved, plain white labellum with white, entire basal keel and larger midlobe.
The leaves of Dendrobium niveolabium reach 7 cm long by 1.5 cm wide. Its flowers are pale yellow, and the lip is pure white.
Dendrobium niveolabium was found growing as an epiphyte in lowland tropical forests. In cultivation, the species thrive at an elevation of 1,100 m above sea level with bright environment.
The species is currently only known in Sorong Regency, West Papua Province, Indonesia. Owing to the insufficient information on its distribution and population size in the wild, the researchers treat Dendrobium niveolabium as “Data Deficient” (DD) according to the IUCN Red List Categories.
Featured image: Flower of Dendrobium niveolabium with spreading floral segments. (Image by Jeffrey Champion)
Provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences