Dendrobium is the second largest genus of the orchid family. Dendrobiums are native to Southeast Asia. They are primarily epiphytes, meaning they grow on other plants.
Researches from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) 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. They named it as Dendrobium niveolabium and got it published in Phytotaxa.
Dendrobium niveolabium is similar to Dendrobium papyraceum but differs significantly in having 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 brightly lit 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.
Mark Arcebal K. Naive
Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flower of Dendrobium niveolabium with spreading floral segments. (Image by Jeffrey Champion)
Flowers of Dendrobium niveolabium with reflexed floral segments.(Image by Jeffrey Champion)
Profile view of column, column foot and labellum of Dendrobium niveolabium.(Image by Jeffrey Champion)
Plants of Dendrobium niveolabium. (Image by Jeffrey Champion)