Dendrobium purpureum Roxb. 1832 SECTION Calyptrochilus

Flower detail

Photo by Jay Pfahl


White Flower Form

Photos by Greg Allikas.

Plant and Flowers

Photo courtesy of Nik Fahmi

Part ShadeHotCool WinterSpring Summer Fall Winter

Common Name The Purple Dendrobium

Flower Size .5 to .8" [1.3 to 2 cm]

Found in the the Moluccas, New Guinea, the Caroline Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu as a small to large sized, hot to cool growing epiphyte from coastal lowlands to montane forests at elevations of sealevel to 1150 meters with clustered, cylindrical to spindle-shaped, erect, curved or pendulous, grooved with age, slightly swollen basally, yellow green to purple stems that have silvery sheaths carrying several, apical, lanceolate, dark green, deciduous leaves that alternate along the stem in 2 rows and blooms at most any time of the year with spring as the main time on a 1" [2.5 cm] long, several to many flowered inflorescence with the semi-closed flowers held in a cluster arising on leafy and leafless stems.

This species is best mounted on treefern to accomodate the pendulous growth habit as long as it is kept wet through the summer and needs a slight reduction of water and fertilizer through the winter months.

In Malacca, a state within Penninsular Malayasia, the whole plant is crushed and used as a poulstice for the treatment of boils.

Synonyms Callista purpurea (Roxb.) Kuntze 1891; Callista reinwardtii (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891; Dendrobium praeustum Kraenzl 1910; Dendrobium purpureum subsp. candidulum (Rchb.f.) Dauncey & P.J.Cribb 1993; Dendrobium purpureum var. album Sander 1926; Dendrobium purpureum var. candidulum Rchb.f. 1887; Dendrobium purpureum var. moseleyi Hemsl. 1884; Dendrobium purpureum var steffensianum Schltr. 1911; Dendrobium reinwardtii Lindl. 1859; Dendrobium scabripes Kraenzl. 1910; Dendrobium talaudense J.J.Sm. 1930; Dendrobium viridiroseum Rchb.f 1855; Pedilonum purpureum [Roxb.] Breiger 1981; Pedilonum reinwardtii [Lindl.] Rauschert 1983; Pedilonum talaudense (J.J.Sm.) Rauschert 1983

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1855 as D viridiroeum; Orchidaceae Monandre-Dendrobiinae Fr. Kraenzlin 1910 as D praeustum; Orchidaceae Monandre-Dendrobiinae Fr. Kraenzlin 1910 as D reinwardtii; Orchidaceae Monandre-Dendrobiinae Fr. Kraenzlin 1910 as D scabripes; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 4 1959; AOS Bulletin Vol 47 No 6 1978; Die Orchideen lieferung 11/12 633 - 752 Brieger 1981 as Pedilonum purpureum photo plant only; AOS Bulletin Vol 51 No 12 1982 stamp fide; Orchids of Vanuatu Lewis & Cribb 1989 drawing/photo fide; Allertonia Vol 5 No 1 Kores 1989; Manual of Orchids Stewart 1995; Orchid Species Culture; Dendrobium Bakers 1996; Orchid Species Culture, Dendrobium Bakers 1996 as D talaudense; Dendrobium and its Relatives Lavarack, Harris and Stocker 2000 as D purpureum subsp candidulumphoto fide; A to Z of South East Asian Orchid Species Vol 1 O'Byrne 2001 photo fide; Lindleyana Vol 17 No 1 2002; Lindleyana Vol 17 No 1 2002 as D talaudense; AOS Bulletin Vol 73 No 3 2004; The Dendrobiums H. P. Wood 2006; Orchid Digest Vol 74 #4 2010 photo fide; Genera Orchidacearum Vol 6 Epidendrodeae Part 3 Pridgeon, Cribb, Chase and Rasmussen 2014