D. punctatum is a leafless mycoheterotrophic plant. The species is terrestrial, favouring protected shady positions in dry forests or woodlands as it is drought and frost tender. The flowers are about 20–25 mm across and are pink with dense purple-red spotting on segments. They appear in hyacinth-like racemes between November and March on a green to blackish scape that grows to a height of 40–100 cm. This orchid is common along the coast and Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, also Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
Similar species include D. variegatum, D. pulchellum, D. hamiltonianum and D. roseum.
The species was formally described in 1804 by English botanist James Edward Smith in the journal Exotic Botany. Smith gave it the name Dendrobium punctatum. In 1810, Scottish botanist Robert Brown placed the species in his newly described genus Dipodium.
The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) records this species as a synonym of Dipodium squamatum. In Australia, however, Dipodium punctatum is an accepted name in the Australian Plant Census.
In New Caledonia the name Dipodium punctatum var. squamatum is used to refer to a Dipodium species that occurs there. However Dipodium punctatum var. squamatum is recorded as an illegitimate name and a synonym of Dipodpium squamatum in the WCSP.
In South Australia, D. punctatum is listed as endangered. Populations currently included within D. roseum and D. campanulatum were originally part of a wider circumscription of D. punctatum in South Australia.
- Jones, David L. (2006). A complete guide to native orchids of Australia, including the island territories. Australia: Reed New Holland Publishers. ISBN 9781877069123.
- "Dipodium punctatum". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Dendrobium punctatum Sm.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
- "Dipodium punctatum (Sm.) R.Br.". The Plant List version 1.1. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Dipodium punctatum var. squamatum (Variete)". endemia.nc. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Dipodium punctatum var. squamatum (G.Forst.) Finet ex Guillaumin, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 10: 68 (1941), nom. illeg.". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Baker M.L.; de Salas, M.F. "A Census of The Vascular Plants of Tasmania - 2012 edition" (PDF). Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts.
- "Census of South Australian Vascular Plants Edition 5.00" (PDF). Botanic Gardens of Adelaide & State Herbarium. 2005.
- Dipodium punctatum Ecology of Cumberland Plain Woodland, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
- Dipodium punctatum ABC
- Media related to Dipodium punctatum at Wikimedia Commons
- Herbarium specimen of Dendrobium punctatum (The Linnean Society of London)