2011 Volume 34 Issue 5 Pages 779-782
Stems of genus Dendrobium (Orchidaceae) have been traditionally used as an herbal medicine (Dendrobii Herba) in Eastern Asia. Although demand for Dendrobium is increasing rapidly, wild resources are decreasing due to over-collection. This study aimed to identify plant sources of Dendrobii Herba on the market based on sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA. We constructed an ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 sequence database of 196 Dendrobium species, and the database was employed to identify 21 herbal samples. We found that 13 Dendrobium species (D. catenatum, D. cucullatum, D. denudans, D. devonianum, D. eriiflorum, D. hancockii, D. linawianum, D. lituiflorum, D. loddigesii, D. polyanthum, D. primulinum, D. regium, and D. transparens) were possibly used as plant sources of Dendrobii Herba, and unidentified species allied to D. denudans, D. eriiflorum, D. gregulus, or D. hemimelanoglossum were also used as sources. Furthermore, it is clear that D. catenatum is one of the most important sources of Dendrobii Herba (5 out of 21 samples).