Dendrobium fimbriatum Hook.

Epiphyte. Stem as long as 2 to 4 feet, tapering towards the apex, sub-erect. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, pointed at its apex and narrowed towards its base, 4 to 7 cm long and 1 to 2 cm in width at its mid portion. Racemes appear laterally from the nodes of the leafy stems, pendulous, with 5 to 9 flowers, the peduncle with many sheathing bracts at its base. Flowers 3 to 4 cm across, sepals and petals bright yellow, lip of the same colour with a large orbicular reddish-brown patch around its middle portion. Sepals oblong, blunt, spreading. Petals wider than the sepals, oblong. Lip orbicular, with undulate and fringed margins.

Dendrobium fimbriatum, Hook
Dendrobium fimbriatum Hook

The Pursuit

This species produces the most beautiful flowers of the region. Its bright yellow colour attracts much attention, however finding it from its natural habitat is becoming very hard. Usually found growing atop the canopies of tall trees only. I was in search for this species for the last few years, but never found it. One afternoon, I got a photograph of this species as a message on my phone from a friend of the region. He was undertaking a contract work of installing high tension polls for a power distribution company. They were working in a valley and were installing high tension wires across it. A set of those wires got entangled on the canopy of a tall tree. The whole of the morning they tried to get those wires freed from the thick canopy and never succeeded. Finally they decided to chop down some branches to release those entangled wires. Few workers climbed up that tall tree and started chopping down some branches. While cutting down the branches they saw a huge plant of this species in full bloom and informed my contractor friend on the ground about the flowers. He was well aware of my interest and orchid research of the region and even sent his mobile up the tree to get a photograph of those beautiful flowers and messaged me. I immediately identified the species and requested him to wait for me till the next day morning. The following day I went to that place as early as 5:30 AM. The workers were waiting for me, as they had a very hectic schedule. They were ready to bring down the flowers for me, but I insisted to climb the tree. In my entire flower hunt I never broke a flower or a leaf for making documentary evidences. The climb up that tall tree was not an easy task. As the workers were well equipped with a lot of materials, they immediately fixed a pulley up the tree and made me sit on a swing chair and pulled me up the canopy. Three of the workers at the top of the canopy helped me to attain a good sitting posture to produce this wonderful photograph. I never looked down to the ground from that position, except once to acknowledge my friend for all his support. To be frank, he was as small as this flower!!!