Northern Pencil Orchid – Dockrillia calamiformis

Dockrillia (doc-RILL-ee-a) calamiformis (calam-ee-for-miss) Jones & Clemesha.

Northern Pencil Orchid / Bridal Veil Orchid

Named after A.W. Dockrill, a botanist who specialises in Australian orchids. calamiformis = having a reed-like form.

This species was previously included with Dendrobium teretifolia as a northern var. fasciculatum

Northern Pencil Orchid

Northern Pencil Orchid

This orchid species is by far the most prevalent epiphytic orchid at Wild Wings and Swampy Things Nature Refuge.

It appears to attach itself to any tree that has a rough flaky bark.

For much of the year it presents itself as a series of pendulous terete leaves, usually on the underside of a branch or on the  trunk of an older tree.

Flowering is often towards the end of the dry season, with the flowers only lasting a few days.

A couple of days ago Denis Wilson (The Nature of Robertson) featured a southern cousin of this plant seen at Jervis Bay (Dockrillia teretifolia).

Superficially the two plants are very similar. The labellum on the northern plant doesn’t roll back like the southern plant does however.

Flowers of Northern Pencil Orchid

Flowers of Northern Pencil Orchid

The other striking feature of these attractive orchids is their delicate sweet scent.

This is particularly strong early morning and late afternoon, but certainly adds to the delight of these stunning plants

6 responses to “Northern Pencil Orchid – Dockrillia calamiformis

  1. Lovely post Allen.
    Great specimens too.
    Very interesting chance to compare and contrast the southern and northern species.
    I shall go back and post a cross-link to your post.

  2. G’day Allen,
    Gorgeous looking plant. ‘Most prevalent’ suggests you have other epiphytics there too. (Hope you can’t see my envy).

  3. Hi Denis, I was tempted to say snap.
    Regards Allen

  4. Yes Gouldiae, we are very fortunate in having about 8 species of epiphytic orchid on our property.
    Also flowering at the moment are the Bottlebrush Orchid and the Golden Orchid

  5. You have posted wonderful picture of Northern Pencil Orchid. It was nice going through it. Keep it up the good work. Cheers 🙂

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