Dendrobium speciosum var. speciosum

Rock Orchid

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: endangered (e); listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Rock-dwelling, sometimes forming colonies to c. 1 m diam. or more. Pseudobulbs tough and fibrous, stout at base and tapering upwards, straight or curved, partly covered in sheathing bracts (those covering new growth sometimes purplish). Leaves 1–5 at top of pseudobulb, thick, leathery, oblong-ovate or oblong-elliptic, often concave above, obtuse, 7–25 cm long, 2–7 cm wide. Inflorescences from leaf axils or terminal, c. 20–40 cm long; pedicels (including ovary) 2–4 cm long, subtending bracts triangular; flowers numerous, white, cream or pale yellow, fragrant, with purple markings on labellum, chin-like extension of fused sepal-bases short, broad, thick, curved. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, linear-triangular, acute, 2–3 cm long; free part of lateral sepals usually incurved, narrowly triangular, blunt, c. 2 cm long. Petals erect or incurved, linear-pointed, c. 2 cm long, narrower than sepals. Labellum c. 2 cm long, lower part erect, then curved through a right angle, then straight; lateral lobes erect, more or less obliquely triangular, embracing column, obtuse; mide-lobe more or less broadly ovate with a small triangular point; lamina callus a central ridge tapered at both ends. Flowers Sep.–Nov.

EGL, EGU. Locally abundant in a few localities in far East Gippsland, growing on sandstone or granite outcrops or perched on cliff faces.

Many colonies have been stripped completely by unscrupulous collectors reducing the species to great rarity in Victoria.

This taxon was recently referred to as Thelychiton speciosus, but the segregate genus Thelychiton is not currently recognised.

Created by: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-09-01
Updated by: Jeff Jeanes, 2015-02-17
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Dendrobium
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Dendrobium speciosum var. speciosum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Dendrobium speciosum var. speciosum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native