Shompen Dendrobium
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Shompen Dendrobium
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Shompen Dendrobium
Botanical name: Dendrobium shompenii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Aporum shompenii

Shompen Dendrobium is an orchid growing on trees, about 25 cm high, stem with clasping leaves about 6 mm wide. It is named for the Shompen people who inhabit the Great Nicobar islands. Leaves are leathery, distantly distichous, 4-5 x 0.6-0.8 cm, nearly lanceshaped, tapering at tip, oblique at base, upper side convex, reflexed from the axis; sheaths 7-8 mm long, covering the stem. Flower clusters are borne in leaf-axils and at branch-ends, sterile bracts minute, scaly. Flowers are pale greenish yellow often with purple markings, about 1.2 cm long. Sepals are greenish yellow; dorsal sepal elliptic obovate, nearly pointed, 5 nerved, smooth, 5 x 3 mm; lateral sepals obliquely elliptic, somewhat pointed, 4 nerved, smooth, 5 x 3 mm. Mentum is distinctly larger than the dorsal sepal, hooded, about 8 mm long. Petals are elliptic obovate, pointed at tip, 3 nerved, 4 x 2 mm, whitish yellow. Lip is membranous, spoon-shaped or obovate, spreading, 1 cm long with small side lobes and a broad midlobe; midlobe is flat to bilobed, keeled with prominently lobed shining glands on the upper surface, about 4 mm long. Shompen Dendrobium is endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Flowering: March-May.

Identification credit: Dr. Saleem Photographed in Tropical Botanical Gardens, Trivandrum.

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