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A spiny leafed Dendrobium orchid

November 9, 2011

Although many local monsoon orchids enter a period of dormancy in November, the native ‘spiny leafed dendrobium’ (Dendrobium kentrophyllum, Orchidaceae) blooms at Dokmai Garden now. Some literature limits its range to eastern and southern Thailand, but since it occurs also in Laos I should not be surprised if this is a local. Our specimen was donated to the Orchid Ark and so I have no details about its background. Keep your eyes open in the jungle and send reports to us.

The flowers look like fleshy white maggots.

‘Kentron’ is Greek meaning spur, and so ‘kentrophyllum’ means ‘spur-like leaf’. Indeed you can identify this species also without its blossom. The curved, fleshy, almost Euphorbia-like leaves are formed in one plane, making the branch look flattened.

Of our nearly 200 species of native orchids these are currently in blossom:

Bulbophyllum sp.

Bulbophyllum xylophyllum (bursting buds)

Coelogyne fuscescens var. brunnea

Dendrobium ellipsophyllum

D. kentrophyllum

D. spatella

Gastrochilus obliquus (a late specimen)

Sarcoglyphis sp.

Spathoglottis affinis (a late specimen)

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

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