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Orchids of the Philippines
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by Jim Cootes
Photographs by David P. Banks and David Titmuss
232 pp, 339 color photos, 1 color diagram, 1 map, 7 1/2 x 10", hardcover, © 2001.
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Olof Swartz named the genus Dendrobium in 1799. The name was published in Nova Acta Societatis Scientiarum Upsaliensis. The generic name refers to the epiphytic habit of the majority of the species. Current estimates as to the number of species in the genus vary from between 800 and 1,100 members.
The type species for this large, commonly grown genus is Dendrobium moniliforme (L.) Sw. Dendrobiums are one of the most widely distributed orchid genera. They are found as far north as Korea and Japan, throughout China, west to India and Sri Lanka, down through Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, the Philippines, Guam, New Guinea (which has the most species of any country) to Australia and as far east as Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean. There are at least 90 species found in the Philippines.
Professor Heinrich G. Reichenbach named this species in 1852 in Botanische Zeitung, after Mr. Bullen, the first person in Britain to flower the plant.
Growth habit: pendulous, sympodial.
Pseudobulbs: up to 1 metre long, 1 cm wide.
Leaves: deciduous, up to 10 c, long by 1.5 cm wide.
Inflorescences: pendulous, short, appear at the leafless nodes, can bear up to 25 blooms 1.5 cm in diameter.
Flower colour: bright orange to yellow; petals and labellum striped with red.
Dorsal sepal: lanceolate, up to 8 mm long by 3.5 mm wide.
Lateral sepals: ovate, joined at their base to form a short spur about 1 cm long; overall length 1.7 cm by 5 mm wide.
Labellum: elliptic, about 1.6 cm long by 5 mm wide.
Habitat and Distribution: Dendrobium bullenianumis is endemic to the Philippines where it has been found in Camarines Sur, Isabela and Quezon on Luzon; Leyte island in the Visayas; and Bucas Grande island near Mindanao. It grows as an epiphyte at elevations to 300 metres.
Photo above: Dendrobium bullenianum