Dendrobium nagataksaka, the Dragon-like Orchid from West Papua


Meta Description: Dendrobium nagataksaka Is A New Species Found In West Papua Which Interestingly Resembles To A Dragon. Dig Deep Into The Unique Species Below.

Slug: dendrobium-nagataksaka-west-papua 


Papua and West Papua has tremendous packs of natural beauty, including orchids. Many unique and rare species of orchids, including Dendrobium sagin, have been increasingly found in the land of Cenderawasih. There are even a lot more awaiting to find and learn, and you’ll be surprised about the findings researched by Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) in 2019. One new species of orchid, namely Dendrobium nagataksaka, was eventually discovered.


Destario Metusala, a researcher at LIPI, underlined that the new species of orchid had fully been identified and discussed in a published international scientific journal, Phytotaxa, by September 2019. Here are several highlights for you to dig into about Dendrobium nagataksaka of West Papua


Behind the Name of Nagataksaka

Nagataksaka or Naga Taksaka is often found in Balinese mythology influenced by Hinduism mythology from India. Also known as Kaang, Naga Taksaka is a winged dragon that symbolizes the sky. It also becomes an icon of the Earth atmosphere depicted in Padmasana throne, shaped like a chair with aesthetic decorating fine arts. Not all of these serpents were evil.


Another popular inspiration behind the name of the new orchid species is Nagataksaka, epithet from Mahabharata. In Hinduism mythology, Taksaka or Taksa was one of the dragons. He was the son of Princess Kadru and Kashyapa. In Nagaloka, he lived with his siblings, including Basuki, Antaboga, and so forth. You can find Taksaka as the one behind the death of King Parikshit, the son of Abimanyu and the grandson of Arjuna.


In Mahabharata, King Parikshit of Hastinapura was away for hunting, but he lost track of his prey and came to approach a sage’s house named Samiti. Parikshit questioned him who was meditating, but the king was upset when he received no words. He then put a dead snake and his arrow on the sage’s neck. After noticing this, the sage’s son, Srenggi was mad. He cursed the king for coming to his end seven days after. He sent Taksaka to take his life by shape-shifting into a caterpillar in guava. Another dragon also shape-shifted into a brahmana and brought the guava to the king. Taksaka returned to his original form of dragon and Parikshit died after being bitten by him.


The Dragon-like Orchid 

Dendrobium nagataksaka is an epiphyte orchid that grows attached to a tree trunk. Destario Metusala, a researcher at LIPI, mentioned that the natural distribution of the new species is from lowland forests in West Papua


Destario also highlighted that the genus of Dendrobium is well-known as one of the orchid classifications that has a unique flower. Thus, uniqueness has become one of the popular decorating flower commodities. If you are wondering why its species is named after a dragon figure, Nagataksaka, the researcher explained that it is because they have a uniqueness in the form of straight horn-shaped petals and long dragon’s head-like flower crown.


Unlike Eulophia lagaligo, which tends to be green, the basic color of Dendrobium nagataksaka is white. However, like Eulophia lagaligo, it would never fail you with its beautifying accents: purple flower veins. Eulophia lagaligo is another new species found along with Dendrobium nagataksaka. It also dwells in lowland areas, but unlike Dendrobium nagataksaka, which originally comes from West Papua, Eulophia lagaligo is found in South Sulawesi, Timor Island, and East Nusa Tenggara.


Like other common Dendrobium orchids, Dendrobium nagataksaka is 2.2 to 2.8 cm wide with its decorating parts, which are not fully open. You will definitely love the uniqueness and typical shape of the dragon-like orchid, as it could represent the beauty of Indonesian plants extremely well.


Growing Dendrobium nagataksaka

Dendrobium nagataksaka naturally grows dan develops itself well in forest habitats, and it makes the dragon-like orchid a forest orchid. While many other orchid species that you know are treated in cross-breeding processes to make new species, Dendrobium nagataksaka is an original species. It has never been in any cross-breeding experiments.


Like other orchid species from Dendrobium genus, you can cultivate nagataksaka in other media, too. One specification for being appropriate media for the dragon-like orchid is that being long-lasting and durable. The media is also required to ease the orchid species to attach. Also, please make sure that the media surface has pores to allow well-flowing air circulation and keep nutrients in a safe place.


As viewed as the ideal media for Dendrobium nagataksaka above, the media which becomes the best-fit media here includes wood charcoal and red brick fragments. However, if those two media aren’t available around you, you can simply use coconut fiber. Nevertheless, of the three media, wood charcoal is the best recommendation.


Dendrobium orchid needs to be placed outdoors for sufficient sunlight exposure to grow well. The best place to grow this type of orchid is by hanging it on the terrace or beneath a tree to avoid over-exposure to sunlight. Positioning Dendrobium indoors is also tangible, but maintain the room temperature around 28 °C to 32 °C. Also, remember to water the orchid sufficiently. Always notice if the trunk needs more treatment. If it appears firm, strong, and not wrinkled, the water is enough, and it shows differently, immediately reduces the water to avoid decay formation.


Those are several key details about Dendrobium nagataksaka from West Papua. If you’re interested in it, you can get the dragon-like orchid ranging from Rp450,000 to Rp1,125,000 in your favorite marketplace. 



Bardono, Setiyo. 2019. Peneliti LIPI Temukan Dua Spesies Baru Anggrek Dendrobium nagataksaka dan Eulophia lagaligo.

Ellyvon Pranita. 2019. Namanya Diartikan Naga Bersayap, Inilah Makna Spesies Anggrek Terbaru dari Papua.

Kaishar, Walid. 2020. Dendrobium Nagataksaka dan Eulophia Lagaligo Serta Penjelasannya.

Metusala, Destario. 2019. Peneliti LIPI Temukan Dua Spesies Baru Anggrek dari Papua dan Sulawesi.

Wikipedia. Taksaka. [Retrieved on December 29, 2021]