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Family Orchidaceae
Dendrobium anosmum Lindl.

Scientific names Common names
Callista anosma (Lindl.) Kuntze Latigo (Tag.)
Callista scortechinii (Hook.f.) Kuntze Sanggumay (Tag.)
Dendrobium anosmum Lindl. Purple rain (Engl.)
Dendrobium dayanum Grindon  
Dendrobium leucorhodum Schltr.  
Dendrobium macranthum Miq. [Illegitimate]  
Dendrobium macrophyllum Lindl. [Illegitimate]  
Dendrobium retusum Llanos [Illegitimate]  
Dendrobium scortechinii Hook.f.  
Dendrobium superbum Rchb.f. [Illegitimate]  
Dendrobium anosmum Lindl. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
HAWAIIAN: Hono-hono.

Plant snippets
• Denbrobium is a huge genus of tropical orchids of about 1,200 species. Over 60 species of Dendrobium are recorded in the Philippines. Two of the favorite cultivated species are: Dendrobium anosmum Lindl. (sanggumay) and Dendrobium crumenatum Kranzl (Pigeon orchid). Some species are grown as medicinal plants, one of which is Dendrobium nobile, used in traditional Chinese medicine. In Vietnam, the entire genus of Dendrobium is considered medicinal.
• In 1839, the scented variety was first discovered by Lindley in the Philippines and named Dendrobium macrophyllum. (7)
• Sanggumay is derived from two Tagalog root words: "sangsang" meaning nauseating and overpowering (smell), and "umay" meaning tiredsome.

Denbrobium anosmum is a tufted epiphytic, occasionally lithophytic herb. Stems are terete, nodose and erect or pendulous. Leaves are about 10 centimeters long and 3 centimeters wide, coriaceous or entire, flat, often articulate with sheaths. Stems make a yearly growth, after which the leaves drop off and the flowers appear. Flowers are borne on leafless stems, each flower measuring about 8 centimeters, with mauve to purple petals, with a broad lip and a dark purple throat, exuding a charactertic raspberry fragrance.

- Reported in the Abra, Benguet, Bontoc, Lepanto, Nueva Viscaya, Leyte, Rizal, and Davao del Sur.
- Ornamental cultivation.
- Native to the Philippines, New Guinea, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
- Reported in China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia.

• Study of volatile components yielded twenty-five components, mostly methylketones and 2-alkyl acetates.
• Monoterpene d-, l, and dl- forms of linalool have been described.
Linalool used as odor agent in cosmetics, soaps, etc.
Main chemical components of Dendrobium are alkaloids, aromatic compounds, sesquiterpenoids and polysaccharides. (4) Yield alkaloid dendroparine (Leander and Luning, 1968).

- Except for isolated anecdotal reports of use of decoction of flowers as invigorating, there is no recorded folkloric use in the Philippines.
- Used as ingredient in Chinese medicine.
- In Vietnam, the entire genus Dendrobium is medicinal.
- Some Dendrobium species are touted to provide superb sexual vigor.
- Stems of many species are sweetish and have a cooling effect.
- In the Philippines, of the Dendrobium species, D. crumenatum is as using the pseudobulbs for ear afflictions, and the Malays and Javanese use poultice of leaves for acne and pimples. Another is D. nutans, a liniment of its bulb is used for tumors and abscesses.
- Fresh or dried stems of many Dendrobium species are one of the most expensive tonics in traditional Chinese medicine. (4)
- Ornamental: Flowers used for decorative for ceremonies and rituals.
- Scent: Linalool used as odor agent in cosmetics, soaps, etc.
- Superstition:
Some believe it to ward off evil spirits; others, that it will bring good fortunes. Some believe it is bad for Feng Shui.

Volatile Components:
Volatile components of the orchid Dendrobium superbum Rchb. f: Studied yielded twenty-five components, mostly methylketones and 2-alkyl acetates. (1)
Attractant Factor / Flower: Study isolated a specfic attractant factor -4-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone was characterized from flowers of the orchid licked from the flower surface of D. superbum and sequestered in the rectal glands of male melon fly, Dacus cucurbitae. (6)

- Wildcrafted.
- Ornamental cultivation.

Updated June 2018 / October 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Volatile components of the orchid Dendrobium superbum Rchb. f

Dendrobium anosmum Lindl. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Studies on orchidaceae alkaloids VIII: An imidazolium salt from Dendrobium anosmum lindl. and Dendrobium parishii Rchb. f. / Kurt Leander, Björn Lüning / Tetrahedron Letters, Volume 9, Issue 8, 1968, Pages 905–908
Chemistry, bioactivity and quality control of Dendrobium, a commonly used tonic herb in traditional Chinese medicine / Jun xu, Quan-Bin Han, Song-Lin li, Xiao-Jia Chen, Xiao-Ning Wang, Zhong-Zhen Zhao / Phytochemistry Reviews (Impact Factor: 2.89). 06/2013; 12(2). / DOI: 10.1007/s11101-013-9310-8
Sanggumays Flowering in the City: A Noteworthy Philippine Orchid Species / Orchids of the Philippines Cootes 2001
ACCUMULATION OF endrobium superbum ORCHIDACEAE) FRAGRANCE IN THE RECTAL GLANDS BY MALES OF THE MELON FLY, Dacus cucurbitae / RITSUO NISHIDA, j * OSAMU IWAHASHI, and KENG HONG TAN / Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 19, No. 4, 1993
Dendrobium anosmum / Wikipedia
Minor products of Philippine forests / Ed. by William H. Brown / Vol 1 No 3

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.

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