Grass-Leaved Dendrobium
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Grass-Leaved Dendrobium
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Grass-Leaved Dendrobium, Falconer's Dendrobium • Manipuri: ꯇꯤꯡꯊꯧ ꯂꯩ Tingthou lei
Botanical name: Dendrobium falconeri    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Callista falconeri, Dendrobium erythroglossum

Grass-Leaved Dendrobium is a large sized, tree-dwelling orchid on lightly shaded branches or tree trunks with pendant, branching, knotty, soft, slender stems that frequently form roots at the nodes and grow into a tangled mess. The few, linear, grass-like, quickly falling leaves arise on new growth at the tip. The plant blooms on a very short, single flowered inflorescence that arises all along the old and new canes with a single, fragrant flower that lasts about 2 weeks occuring in the spring. Flowers are 3.4-5cm long; sepals and petals pale pink, tipped with purple, lip white with a central dark purple spot surrounded by a yellow-orange ring, tip purple; flower-stalk and ovary slender, hairless, 1.5-1.8cm long. Sepals are spreading, oblong-lanceshaped, tapering, sometimes twisted, 7-veined, 4-5 x 0.8-1.2 cm; lateral sepals adnate at base to form a spur-like mentum; mentum 5-6 mm long. Petals are elliptic-ovate, pointed to tapering, 9-veined, 3.8-5 x 1.1-1.6cm. Lip is obscurely 3-lobed, shortly clawed and hooded at base, broadly heart-shaped-round, tip pointed, softly fringed with hairs, margins toothed-sawtoothed to fringed, 3-4.9 x 1.8-3.5 cm. Grass-Leaved Dendrobium is found in E. Sikkim to S. China and Indo-China, W. Taiwan, at altitudes of 800 to 1900 m.

Identification credit: Jambey Tsering Photographed in Sessa, West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh.

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