Dendrochilum simile

Dendrochilum simile

This is the message that accompanied the original photographs:

Below are 4 variously detailed photos of my Dendrochilum simile that was awarded a provisional CBR/AOS this past Saturday at the Huntsville, AL, show.

The plant was legally imported from Simanis Orchids in Java (copy of Indonesian export/USFW import permit available). Please let me know if you need additional (larger or jpeg) photos, preserved blooms or further information. Thanks!
Charles G. Wilson
1775 Keenlan Drive
Hernando, MS 38632
(phone 901-268-1445)

I have written to this fellow for better photos and some measurements, but he has not responded, so I'm putting up what we've got, as crummy and teeny as the photos are.

Here, also, is an initial exchange, between Ron & me.
This first, from Ron:

I am leaving very early tomorrow for Philadelphia and will not be back until about midnight Sunday night. If you don't mind you can work with him. I already know this isn't Dendrochilum simile. Even these images are clear enough to tell you that there are two keels that run down almost the entire length of the lip. There are two species in this section (Platyclinis) in Indonesia. One is simile with three keels that run from the base to less than the point where the recurving begins and the other species is odoratum. That species has two keels visible even in these images that run nearly the entire length of the lip. This is odoratum.

A response from Lisa:
I have in front of me Seidenfaden & Wood's Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, and it has a couple of things that seem to be at variance with the thing in these pictures being odoratum: " Lip bent downwards but the end not rolled under," "Lip... shorter than the petals" so please excuse me while I get more information and hopefully better pictures from this fellow. I won't do any more looking until I get this, but right now I cannot sign up for your diagnosis of this thing as odoratum, and I feel that we need decent information from this fellow in order to properly evaluate this plant.
So far, I see nothing in the description of D. simile that eliminates this plant. S&W; describe the lip as follows: "Lip with apical half rolled under, ... side lobes hardly developed... keels in basal half of lip 2, with a very short one between them..." The visible keels stop short of the recurved part of the lip.

This is a couplet from the key in S&W;:

3. Leaf blade to 23 by 2.5 cm or larger. No side lobes to lip.

4. Lip 2.5 mm wide, most of blade turned back underneath and rolled up, keels 2....D. simile

4'. Lip 1.5 mm wide, blade not rolled up, keels 3, of equal length....D. odoratum

From Ron, 04/01/2009:

I just found out tonight that the Dendrochilum simile has been identified by David Banks so we can drop it unless we want to make it an exercise. I'm not sure why the exhibitor sent it to us if he'd already sent it directly to Banks.

And the note from David Banks, verifying the identification:

Hello Charles,
Congratulations on the award.
Indeed, your species is Dendrochilum simile – which is quite widespread throughout Indonesia and Peninsula Malaysia. Throughout it range it surprisingly shows little variation.

As an aside, I see you used the abbreviation Ddc. Technically; there is no present abbreviation for the genus. This seems to only occur when applied by the RHS in London once the genus has been used in hybridization. Just a bit of orchid trivia!

You are very correct Charles; sending preserved flowers of such things to Australia would almost certainly be confiscated. It is great that in this day and age we can use this technology to quickly communicate and confirm identifications.

Kind regards,

David Banks
Hills District Orchids


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