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Family Orchidaceae
Dendrobium crumenatum Sw.

Mu shi hu

Scientific names Common names
Aerides matutina Willd. Irdu (Bikol)
Aporum crumenatum (Sw.) Brieger Karamosi (Ilocos Norte)
Aporum kwashotense (Hayata) Rauschert Karausi (Cagayan)
Callista crumenata (Sw.) Kuntze Karulai (Isabela)
Ceraia parviflora (Ames & C.Schweinf.) M.A.Clem. Magimpal (Bohol)
Ceraia saaronica (J.Koenig) M.A.Clem. Bag-shaped dendrobium (Engl.)
Ceraia simplicissima Lour. Pigeon dendrobium (Engl.)
Dendrobium caninum (Burm.f.) Merr. Pigeon flower (Engl.)
Dendrobium ceraia Lindl. Pigeon orchid (Engl.)
Dendrobium crumenatum Sw. Sparrow orchid (Engl.)
Dendrobium kwashotense Hayata White dove orchid (Engl.)
Dendrobium schmidtianum Kraenzl.  
Dendrobium simplicissimum (Lour.) Kraenzl.  
Epidendrum caninum Burm.f.  
Epidendrum ceraia Raeusch.  
Epidendrum matutinum Poir.  
Epidendrum saaronicum J.Koenig  
Onychium crumenatum (Sw.) Blume  
Dendrobium crumenatum Sw. is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ge shi hu, Mu hu, Mu shi hu.
INDONESIA: Anggrak merpati.
MALAYSIA: Daun sepulah tulang.
THAILAND: Waai tamoi, Buap Klaang haao.
VIETNAMESE: Th[aj]chh[ooj]c, Tuy[ees]t mai.

Gen info
- Dendrobium Sw. is one of the largest genera in the orchidaceous family, which includes 900-2000 species.
- First described in 1799 by Olof Swartz and published in Heinrich Schrader's Journal für die Botanik.
- Specific epithet 'crumenatum' derives from Lain 'crumena' meaning 'leather moneybag.' (13)

Pigeon denbrobium is an epiphytic orchid that grows on trees. Stems are slender, fascicled, smooth, elongated, up to 1 meter in length, with upright, sympodial pseudobulbs at the base, 8 to 12 centimeters long, about 2 centimeters thick. Leaves are scattered, distichous, oblong, 5 to 8 centimeters long and 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters wide, with a blunt tip. Flowers are pure white, fugacious, very fragrant, solitary or somewhat fascicled, appearing on the upper parts of the stems at the nodes; the center of the lip is pale yellow, 2.5 to 3 centimeters long. Fruits are capsular and elliptical, 2.2 centimeters long.

- Native to the Philippines. (5)
- Common and widely distributed orchid in the Philippines.
- Growing at sea level to an altitude of 500 meters.
- One of the most common species of orchids in Asia.

- Also native to Andaman Is., Borneo, Cambodia, Christmas I., India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam. (5)

- Plant yields trace alkaloid in the pseudobulbs and leaves.
- Phytochemical study by Sandrasagara et al (2014) showed that bioactive compounds such as saponins, terpenoid, alkaloid, reducing sugar and flavonoid were present in most parts of D. crumenatum Terpenoid and reducing sugar were absent in leaves extract. Phlobatannins, anthraquinones, and tannins were not detected in any of the plant extracts. (15)

- Studies have suggest antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties.

Parts used
Pseudobulbs and leaves.


- The Malays commonly used the juice of the pseudobulbs for treating ear infections. In Java, used similarly.
-  Poultice of leaves used on boils and pimples.
- In Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, plant used to remove impurities from the blood. In Malaysia, used to heal boils; juice from pseudobulbs used to relieve earache. (9) Poultice of leaves used to treat boils and pimples. (10)
- In
Indonesia, pseudobulbs used to treat abscesses and boils, swelling in the outer ear; also to treat cholera. (11)
- Juice from swollen pseudobulbs used as ear drops to treat earache. (12)
- Crafts: Fibers from the stems are used as decorative material in basket making and other crafts.
- Rituals:
In Malaysia, planted near house entrances as a good luck talisman to ward off evil spirits from entering. (12)

Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant:
Study of ethanol and methanol extracts showed anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive and antioxidant activities which may be related to the changes in the content of total alkaloids.(1)
Reproductive Function Effects: Study evaluated the effect of pigeon orchid pseudobulb juice on female reproductive function using Wistar rats. Results showed a significant increase in estradiol level and increase in the number of tertiary follicles. (4)
Antibacterial: In a study that evaluated nine plant samples for phytochemicals and biologic activity, Dendrobium crumenatum showed antifungal and antibacterial activity. (6)
• Antimicrobial / Stem, Root & Pseudo-bulbs: Study evaluated the potential antimicrobial activity of various parts of Dendrobium crumenatum against 8 pathogenic bacteria. The methanolic extract of stem, root, and pseudo-bulb exhibited antimicrobial activity comparable to standard antibiotics. Activity could be due to the presence of alkaloid and flavonoid compounds. (7)
• Frequency of Endophytic Fungi / Antimicrobial Activity: Study evaluated the frequency of endophytic fungi from roots, bulbs, stems, and leaves of D. crumenatum and its antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans, C. tropicalis, E. coli, B. subtilis, and S. aureus. Twelve species of fungi were isolated from 60 samples. Guignardia endophyllicola were the dominant endophytic fungi. Screening of anti-microorganism activity of the endophytic fungi showed inhibition of C. albicans and C. tropicalis, with no activity against B. subtilis, E. coli, and S. aureus. (8)
• Antimicrobial Endophytic Fungi: Endophytic microorganisms were found in the orchid Dendrobium crumenatum Sw. Fungi were isolated from roots, bulbouses, stems and leaves. Twelve species were identified from 60 samples. Guignardia endophyllicola Okane, Nakagiri and Ito were the dominant endophytic mould. Fusarium nivale (Fr.) Ces. inhibited Candida albicans and C. tropicalis. (14)


Updated September 2022 / Nov 2018 / Oct 2017 / Oct 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: File:Dendrobium crumenatum 2.jpg / Conrad Munro / 21 April 2006 / GNU Free Documentation License / Click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Dendrobium crumenatum- Edwards vol 25 (NS 2) pl 22 (1839).jpg/ Edwards's Botanical Register, volume 25 (NS 2) plate 22 / Miss Drake (1803-1857) del. , G. Barclay sc. / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Pigeon Dendrobium, Dendrobium and wood cups of analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the study ; Study on anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects of Dendrobium crumenatum SW., Dendrobium moniliforme (L.) SW. and Ephemerantha lonchophylla HUNT & SUMMERH. / Chen Songbin and Sung-Ping Chen / Institute of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University
Dendrobium crumenatum Sw. (accepted name)
/ Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Dendrobium crumenatum Sw. / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Reproductive function in female Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout, 1769) after oral administration of Pigeon Orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum Swartz, 1799) pseudobulb juice / Fitria, Laksmindra and Ridhowati, Annisa / Bandung: International Conference on Biomedical Science (ICBS) , 18-Jun-2012
Dendrobium crumenatum Sw. / Plants of the World Online
Screening of phytochemicals and biological activity (antifungal, antibacterial, and anticancer) of medicinal plants
Nur Khairunnisa Ibrahim, (2007) Screening of phytochemicals and biological activity (antifungal, antibacterial, and anticancer) of medicinal plants / Nur Khairunnisa Ibrahim / Institutional Repository UMS

Frequency of endophytic fungi isolated from Dendrobium crumenatum (Pigeon orchid) and antimicrobial activity / WIBOWO MANGUNWARDOYO, SUCIATMIH, INDRAWATI GANDJAR / BIODIVERSITAS, Jan 2012; (13)1: pp 34-39 / DOI: 10.13057/biiodiv/d130107
Denbrobium crumentatum / Cristopher Wiart / Medicinal Plants of China, Korea, and Japan: Bioresouces for Tomorrow's . . . / Google EBook
Traditional Uses and Pharmacologically Active Constituents of Dendrobium Plants for Dermatological Disorders: A Review / Yue-Hu Wang / Natural Products and Bioprospecting, 11(5) /
DOI: 10.1007/s13659-021-00305-0
Ethnomedicinal properties of orchidaceae by local communities in Lake Toba region, North Sumatra, Indonesia / A Aswandi, C R Kholibrina / 2021 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci., 914: 012056
Dendrobium crumenatum Sw / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB
Dendrobium crumenatum / Wikipedia
Frequency of endophytic fungi isolated from Dendrobium crumenatum Sw. (Pigeon orchid) and antimicrobial activity / Wibowo Mangunwardoyo, Suciatmih Suciathmih, Indrawati Gandhjar/ Biodiversitas Journal of Biological Diversity, 2012; 13(1) / DOI: 10.13057/biodiv/d13010
Studies on the inhibitory potential of orchid extracts against acne associated bacteria / Celia Guerrero Olivares / 2020 / Universitat Politecnica de Valencia


DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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