Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

×Vappaculum superbiens

Curly Pinks

×Vappacalum superbiens (Rchb.f.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 492 (2002).

Dendrobium × superbiens Rchb.f., Gard. Chron. (new ser.), 6: 516 (21 Oct. 1876); Dendrobium bigibbum var. superbiens (Rchb.f.) F.M.Bailey, Syn. Queensl. fl. 509 (1883); Callista superbiens (Rchb.f.) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. 2: 655 (1891). Type: cult. Messrs Veitch s.n. imported from Northern Australia(holo W; iso K).

Dendrobium goldiei Rchb.f., Gard. Chron. (new ser.), 9: 652 (25 May 1878). Type: cult. Victoria and Paradise Nursery, 1877, Mr B.S. Williams s.n. ex Australia or New Guinea, Goldie s.n. (holo W).

Dendrobium × superbiens Fitzg., Aust. orch. 2(1): [t. 5] (1884); Dendrobium fitzgeraldii F.Muell. ex F.M.Bailey, Syn. Queensl. fl. Suppl. 1: 55 (1886); Callista fitzgeraldii (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. 2: 654 (1891). Type: cult. Sydney, Apr., W.MacArthur s.n. ex North Queensland, [W. MacArthur s.n.] (holo BM).

Dendrobium bigibbum var. albomarginatum F.M.Bailey, Bot. Bull. Dept. Agric. Queensland (7): 18 (Mar. 1891), non Linden (Aug. 1891). Type: cult. Brisbane, J.A. Beal s.n. ex Cape York [Anon] (holo BRI).

Dendrobium brandtiae Kraenzl., Gard. Chron. (ser. 3), 40: 404 (1906). Type: cult. ex North Australia or New Guinea, [16 Nov. 1906], Ida Brandt s.n. (holo HBG).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on some Torres Strait islands, and from Cape York to Portland Roads.

Altitude: 0-150 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small to medium-sized clumps. Pseudobulbs crowded, erect, cylindrical, 50-80 cm x 2-2.5 cm, green to purplish. Leaves 8-16, scattered along stem upper half of stem, erect to prostrate, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing pseudobulb; lamina ovate, 10-16 cm x 4-6 cm, sessile, dark green, tough. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 200-400 mm long, arching. Flowers 8-25, resupinate, erect to porrect, 30-40 mm x 35-45 mm, pink or reddish mauve, often with white margins. Sepals and petals widely spreading, often twisted or recurved. Dorsal sepal narrowly oblong, 25-30 mm x 8-10 mm. Lateral sepals similar to dorsal sepal, 25-30 mm x 8-10 mm, fused to column foot at base. Petals broader than sepals, obovate to spathulate, 35-40 mm x 12-15 mm, margins undulate. Labellum 25 mm x 20 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect, prominently veined; midlobe decurved, margins undulate, with 5 ridges, crested and divergent on midlobe. Column porrect, 4-6 mm long, with longitudinal ridge. Column foot 10-13 mm long. Capsule penduluous, dehiscent.


Natural intergeneric hybrid between Vappodes bigibba and Durabaculum undulatum that grows on low trees or rocks in stunted coastal scrub. The flowers are colourful and long-lasting and cultivated plants usually flower continuously. This hybrid is variable and backcrossing to either parent can occur.

Flowering period: February-June.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Dendrobium × superbiens.

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