Dendrobium bigibbum Lindley 1852 SECTION Phalaenanthe Photo courtesy of Nick Doe

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Common Name The Cooktown Orchid [Australia] In Australia - The Two-Humped Dendrobium - The Mauve Butterfly Orchid

Flower Size 2" [5 cm]

Found in Queensland Australia and Papua and New Guinea [?], medium to large sized, epiphytic or lithophytic species that grows in semi-arid, low elevations of sea level to 400 meters, in high light situations with cylindrical, narrow, tapering slightly towards both ends, green or reddish purple stems carrying 3 to 12, ovate or lanceolate, acute leaves held in the apical half and can bloom in the mid summer through winter on an axillary, to 12" [to 30 cm], arching raceme with 2 to 20, large, long lasting flowers that arise from the nodes near the apex of the leafed or not leafed canes if given a moderate winter rest and not resuming water until the new growths are 2 to 3" tall.

This species is the floral emblem of Queensland and grows in semi-arid areas.

Synonyms Callista bigibba [Lindley]Kuntze 1891; Callista phalaenopsis (Fitzg.) Kuntze 1891; Callista sumneri [ F. Muell.] Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium biggibum [common mispelling], Dendrobium bigibbum f. compactum (C.T.White) G.Piper 1950; Dendrobium bigibbum f. phalaenopsis (Fitzg.) St.Cloud 1956; Dendrobium bigibbum f. superbium G.Piper 1950; Dendrobium bigibbum subvar candidum [Rchb.f.] Veitch 1888; Dendrobium bigibbum subvar. compactum (C.T.White) St.Cloud 1956; Dendrobium bigibbum subvar. superbum (Rchb.f.) H.J.Veitch 1887; Dendrobium bigibbum var. albopurpuratum auct. 1895; Dendrobium bigibbum var. album F.M.Bailey 1902; Dendrobium bigibbum var candidum Rchb.f. 1878; Dendrobium bigibbum var. macranthum F.M.Bailey 1895; Dendrobium bigibbum var. phalaenopsis (Fitzg.) F.M.Bailey 1883; Dendrobium bigibbum var sumneri [F. Mueller]F.M.Bailey 1883; Dendrobium bigibbum var. superbum Rchb.f. 1878 Dendrobium lithocola D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. 1989; Dendrobium phalaenopsis Fitzg. 1880; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. albopurpureum auct 1895; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. album B.S.Williams 1894; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. album auct. 1895; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. chamberlainianum auct. 1894; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. compactum C.T.White 1941; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. dellense B.S.Williams 1894; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. highburyense auct. 1894; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. hololeuca auct. 1895; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. lindeniae auct. 1902; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. rothschildianum Kraenzl. 1892; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. rubescens Nash 1914; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroderianum Rolfe 1891; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroederianum W.Watson 1891; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. splendens auct. 1906; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. statterianum auct. 1891; Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. thundersleyense auct. 1905; Dendrobium sumneri F. Mueller 1867; Vappodes bigibba (Lindl.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002; Vappodes lithocola (D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 2002

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as D phalaenopsis; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as D phalaenopsis var hololeucum; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as D phalaenopsis var rothschildianum; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 3 1958 drawing; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 5 1958 drawing; AOS Bulletin Vol 29 No 5 1960 as D phalaenopsis; AOS Bulletin Vol 32 No 8 1963 photo as D phalaenopsis; AOS Bulletin Vol 32 No 10 1963 as D phalaenopsis; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 as D biggibum var phalaenopsis; AOS Bulletin Vol 35 No 4 1966; The Orchids of Papua New Guinea An Introduction Millar 1978 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 48 No 10 1979 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 49 No 9 1980 photo; Die Orchideen lieferung 11/12 Schlechter/Brieger 1981 photo fidedeen lieferung 11/12 Schlechter/Brieger 1981 as D phalaenopsis; OS Bulletin Vol 55 No 11 1986 photo as D phalaenopsis; Orchid Digest Vol 56 No 3 1992 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 56 No 3 1992 as D phalaenopsis photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 65 No 12 1996 photo; Orchid Species Culture, Dendrobium Bakers 1996; AOS Bulletin Vol 66 No 1 1997 photo; Flora Malesiana Orchids of New Guinea Vol II Shuiteman and de Vogel 2002; Australian Orchid Review Vol 69 No 4 2004 photo as D bigibbum var superbum; Australian Orchid Review Vol 71 No 1 2006 photo; The Dendrobiums Wood 2006 photo fide; Native Orchids of Australia Jones 2006 as Vappodes bigibba photo fide; Native Orchids of Australia Jones 2006 as Vappodes lithocola photo fide; Native Orchids of Australia Jones 2006 as Vappodes phalaenopsis photo fide;

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Dendrobium bigibbum Lindley 1852 ssp. bigibbum SECTION Phalaenanthe Photo courtesy of John Rees

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Text by John Rees

Dendrobium bigibbum ssp. bigibbum grows on the western side of Cape York and has been commonly called the "Weipa Cooktown orchid" because it is found around Weipa, a bauxite mine on the western side of Cape York. Its flowers are smaller than Den. bigibbum ssp. phalaenopsis and they grow to 5 cm across on canes of length similar to those of Den. bigibbum ssp. phalaenopsis. In flower, it is easily identified by the white spot on the labellum.

Dendrobium bigibbum Lindley 1852 ssp. compactum SECTION Phalaenanthe Photo courtesy of John Rees

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Text by John Rees

Dendrobium bigibbum ssp. compactum grows on rocks south of Laura to Cairns on the eastern side of Cape York. Because of the often exposed, harsh situations it grows in, it has evolved into a compact form with pseudobulbs about 25cm long.

Synonyms Dendrobium bigibbum var. compactum C.T.White 1941

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 9 1959; Die Orchideen lieferung 11/12 Schlechter/Brieger 1981 as D bigibbum var compactum photo fide; Australian Orchid Review Vol 68 No 3 2003 photo as D bigibbum var compactum; Australian Orchid Review Vol 69 No 2 2004 photo; Native Orchids of Australia Jones 2006 as Vappodes lithocola

Dendrobium bigibbum ssp. phalaenopsis SECTION Phalaenanthe Photo courtesy of John Rees

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Text by John Rees

Dendrobium bigibbum ssp. phalaenopsis grows between Mount Molloy and Cooktown on the eastern side of Cape York and is the original "Cooktown Orchid". It may have larger flowers (up to 7 cm across) than other varieties of the species. There are a number of cultivars of this including 'Albomarginatum' (with white margins on the petals and sepals) and 'Hololeucum' (white flowers). Pseudobulbs can grow to 1.2 m. Selective breeding has produced some much larger, paler and flatter flowers, so much so that judges at shows often question the validity of naming them Dendrobium bigibbum ssp. phalaenopsis

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Native Orchids of Australia Jones 2006 as Vappodes phalaenopsis; The Dendrobiums H. P. Wood 2006 as D phalaenopsis photo fide

Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroderianum Rolfe 1891 Photo by Eric Hunt and His Orchid Website

A color version.

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as D pierardi var schroederianum;

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