Common name: Spider Orchid
Dendrobium melaleucaphilum M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones APNI*
Synonyms: Tetrabaculum melaleucaphilum (M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones APNI*
Dendrobium tetragonum var. melaleucaphilum (M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones) Dockrill APNI*
Description: Epiphyte or occasionally an epilith, stems spreading to pendent, thin and wiry in the basal half, succulent, swollen and square in cross section in the upper half, tapering towards the tip, rooting only at the base, 6–45 cm long, 7–9 mm diam., with 2–4 leaves at apex; roots smooth, creeping.
Leaves spreading to erect, elliptic, 4.5–9 cm long, 15–25 mm wide, conduplicate, acuminate, thin, smooth.
Inflorescences 0.7–4 cm long, 2–8-flowered. Sepals and lateral petals green to deep dull yellow with reddish margins or other markings; dorsal sepal 38–60 mm long, 2–5 mm wide; labellum cream with reddish striations, 10–16 mm long, 7–9 mm wide. Column 2.5–4 mm long; column foot 6–10 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows frequently on Melaleuca styphelioides, less commonly on rainforest trees or on rocks in coastal districts; north from the lower Blue Mtns.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC
Other Australian states: Qld
Threatened species: NSW BCA: Endangered
Previously known as the 'large-flowered paperbark form' of D. tetragonum
Text by P. H. Weston
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.