Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Dockrillia brevicauda

Mount Finnigan Pencil Orchid

Dockrillia brevicauda (D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Lasianthera 1: 17 (1996).

Dendrobium brevicaudum D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Novon 4(2): 109-111, f. 1 (1994). Type: Australia. Queensland: Cook District, Mt. Finnigan, S of Cooktown, 31 Mar. 1993, C.H. Broers 422 and L. Roberts (holo CANB; iso CANB, BRI).


Occurs in far north-east <a href="images/map_qld.gif" class="thickbox" ='#>Queensland on Mount Finnigan and Mount Misery near Ayton.

Altitude: 700-950 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming slender, pendulous clumps. Stems pendulous, to 200 cm x 3-4 mm, straight, dark green to yellowish. Leaf terminal on stem, pendulous, sessile; lamina linear to terete, 15-60 cm x 0.35-0.5 cm, dark green, fleshy, not grooved, apex obtuse to acute. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, erect, from node near leaf base, 40-60 mm long, wiry; pedicels 9-12 mm long, filiform. Flowers 5-8, moderately crowded, non-resupinate, porrect to nodding, star-shaped, 35-45 mm x 35-45 mm, yellowish to brownish yellow or orange-brown with red central stripes and whitish labellum, strongly fragrant. Sepals and petals widely spreading. Dorsal sepal erect to obliquely erect, narrowly lanceolate, 17-20 mm x 3-4 mm, constricted near base, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals divergent, asymmetric, lanceolate, falcate, 14-16 mm x 4 mm, bases fused to column foot, apex acute to cymbiform. Petals obliquely erect, linear, 18-20 mm x 2-2.5 mm. Labellum curved, 16-19 mm x 6-7 mm, pubescent, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect, triangular, embracing column; midlobe intensely undulate, apex shortly caudate; upper surface with 3 dark red undulate ridges. Column porrect from end of ovary, 5-6 mm long, anterior surface and margins pubescent. Column foot 4-4.5 mm, at an obtuse angle to column. Capsules pendulous, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests and tall cloudforests at higher altitudes, growing on trees and granite boulders in shady locations. The flowers are fragrant and pollinated by small native bees.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: December-January.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Dendrobium brevicaudum.

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