Description from Flora of China
Epidendrum moniliforme Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 954. 1753; Callista candida (Wallich ex Lindley) Kuntze; C. japonica (Blume) Kuntze; C. moniliformis (Linnaeus) Kuntze; C. spathacea (Lindley) Kuntze; Dendrobium candidum Wallich ex Lindley; D. castum Bateman ex H. G. Reichenbach; D. crispulum Kimura & Migo; D. heishanense Hayata; D. japonicum (Blume) Lindley; D. kosepangii C. L. Tso; D. kwangtungense C. L. Tso; D. monile (Thunberg) Kraenzlin; D. nienkui C. L. Tso; D. spathaceum Lindley; D. taiwanianum S. S. Ying; D. tosaense Makino var. chingshuishanianum S. S. Ying; D. wilsonii Rolfe; D. yunnanense Finet; D. zonatum Rolfe; E. monile Thunberg, nom. illeg. superfl.; Limodorum monile Thunberg, nom. illeg. superfl.; Onychium japonicum Blume.
Stems erect, cylindric, usually 10-30 cm or longer, slender, 3-6 mm in diam., with many nodes, internodes 1.5-2.5 cm, golden yellow or yellow tinged with dark gray when dry. Leaves several, often alternate on stem above middle, lanceolate, oblong, or narrowly oblong, 3-5(-7) × 0.5-1.2(-1.5) cm, base decurrent into clasping sheaths, apex obtuse and slightly unequally bilobed. Inflorescences 1 to several, borne above middle of deciduous or leafy old stem, usually 1-3-flowered; peduncle 3-5 mm; floral bracts pale white, tinged with brown spots, ovate, 3-7(-8) × 2-3(or more) mm, dry, membranous, apex obtuse or acuminate. Pedicel and ovary white, 1-3 cm, slender. Flowers sometimes fragrant, yellowish green, creamy white, or white tinged with pale purplish red; lip white, pale yellowish green, or greenish white, spots tinged with pale brown or purplish red to pale yellow, often with a purplish red, pale brown, pale yellow, or yellowish green central spot near base of mid-lobe, column white, foot often with purplish red stripes at base, anther cap white or pale yellow. Sepals and petals similar, ovate-oblong, oblong-lanceolate, or ovate-lanceolate, (10-)13-40 × (1.5-)3-10 mm, 5- or 6-veined, apex acute, acuminate, or obtuse; lateral sepals oblique and adnate to column foot; mentum conic or subglobose, 4-15 × ca. 5 mm, obtuse. Petals subelliptic, (23-)25-40 × 10-15 mm, 5- or 6-veined, acute; lip ovate-lanceolate in outline, slightly shorter than sepal, base cuneate, distinctly or inconspicuously 3-lobed; lateral lobes subrounded, erect, embracing column, margin entire or irregularly toothed; mid-lobe ovate to ovate-lanceolate, glabrous, base often with an elliptic callus, margin entire, apex acute or slightly obtuse; disk densely pubescent between 2 lateral lobes. Column 3-4 mm, foot ca. 1.5 cm, glabrous or sometimes hairy; anther cap conic, sometimes densely finely papillate, apex unlobed.
Dendrobium moniliforme var. malipoense L. J. Chen & Z. J. Liu (J. Wuhan Bot. Res. 26: 358. 2008), described from Yunnan (Malipo), is said to differ in its very small, fusiform stems 4-6 cm, inflorescence axis 1-2 cm, dorsal sepal narrowly oblong, and lip with three lamellae. However, H. P. Wood is skeptical that the taxon is really distinct from typical D. moniliforme.
Epiphytic on tree trunks in broad-leaved forests, lithophytic on rocks in forests and cliffs in valleys; 600-3000 m. SW Anhui, N and SE Fujian, S Gansu, N and SW Guangdong, N Guangxi, E Guizhou, Henan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, S Sichuan, Taiwan, NW to SE Yunnan, N Zhejiang [Bhutan, NE India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, N Vietnam].