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  1. Family: Orchidaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Dendrobium Sw.
      1. Dendrobium bensoniae Rchb.f.

        Dendrobium bensoniae is a popular ornamental orchid from the forests of India, Burma and possibly Thailand. It has large flowers with a lip with a characteristic golden disk and two large, purple spots.

    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description

    Dendrobium bensoniae is a popular ornamental orchid from the forests of India, Burma and possibly Thailand. It has large flowers with a lip with a characteristic golden disk and two large, purple spots.

    One of Kew's earlier directors, Joseph Hooker, explained in Curtis's Botanical Magazine how D. bensoniae was described from a specimen sent to the UK from Burma in the 19th century by 'an indefatigable collector and horticulturist, Colonel Benson, after whose lady it is named at his own request'.

    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Dendrobium bensoniae is found growing on tree trunks in lowland and submontane moist forests in northeastern India (Assam) and northern Burma. It has also been reported from Thailand, but this may have been in error.

    Description

    Overview: The pseudobulbs (storage organs formed by swollen stems) are long and slender.

    Leaves: The leaves are linear, 5 cm long and deciduous.

    Flowers: About 6 cm in diameter, the flowers occur in groups of twos or threes on the upper part of the leafless stem. The sepals and petals are white or cream, the former being narrow and pointed, the latter broad and rounded. The lip has a golden disk in the centre with two large purple spots at the base.

    Threats and conservation

    Lady Benson's dendrobium is a somewhat uncommon ornamental, which is commercialised worldwide. Illegal collection for the horticultural trade threatens many orchids in the region but is not considered to directly threaten the survival of this locally common species.

    Dendrobium bensoniae is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

    Conservation assessments carried out at Kew

    Dendrobium bensoniae is being monitored as part of the 'IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants', which aims to produce conservation assessments for a representative sample of the world's plant species. This information will then be used to monitor trends in extinction risk and help focus conservation efforts where they are needed most.

    Uses

    Lady Benson's dendrobium is cultivated as an ornamental.

    This species at Kew

    Pressed and dried specimens of  Dendrobium bensoniae  are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers from around the world by appointment.

    Distribution
    India, Myanmar, Thailand
    Ecology
    Lowland and submontane forests.
    Conservation
    Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria. Listed in Appendix II of CITES.
    Hazards

    None known.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Assam, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand

    Synonyms

    Common Names

    English
    Lady Benson’s dendrobium

    Other Data

    Dendrobium bensoniae Rchb.f. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    May 15, 1984 Kerr, A.F.G. [s.n.], Thailand K000482327
    Samuel, A. [13575], Myanmar K000482328

    Bibliography

    First published in Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 25: 230 (1867)

    Accepted by

    • Mostaph, M.K. & Uddin, S.B. (2013). Dictionary of plant names of Bangladesh, Vasc. Pl.: 1-434. Janokalyan Prokashani, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
    • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    Kew Species Profiles

    • Brummitt, N. (2010). Dendrobium bensoniae. Assessment using IUCN Categories and Criteria 3.1 (IUCN 2001). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Seidenfaden, G. (1985). Orchid genera in Thailand XII. Dendrobium Sw. Opera Botanica 83: 1–295.
    • Veitch, J. H. (1906). Hortus Veitchii. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    • Hooker, J. D. (1867). Dendrobium bensonae. Curtis's Botanical Magazine 93: pl. 5679.

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Mostaph, M.K. & Uddin, S.B. (2013). Dictionary of plant names of Bangladesh, Vasc. Pl.: 1-434. Janokalyan Prokashani, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

    Sources

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0