Corybas fordhamii (Rupp) Rupp

Swamp Helmet-orchid

Victorian Naturalist 59: 61 (1942) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: rare (r)

Leaf ovate to cordate, green on both sides, 9–16 mm long, 7–10 mm wide. Flower reddish-purple, reflexed against ovary, pedicel (excluding ovary) 6–10 mm long; bract conspicuous, c. 3 mm long, just below ovary; dorsal sepal reddish-purple to pale at apex, spoon-shaped, gradually expanded, 10–14 mm long, lower half gradually curved through 90º, lamina ovate-oblong, hooded; lateral sepals narrowly triangular, c. 7 mm long, appressed to labellum; petals about half as long as and resembling the lateral sepals. Labellum streaked red and white, slightly shorter than dorsal sepal, basal third tubular; auricles short, tubular, opening at apex, through which the column is visible; lamina grading reddish to white towards the apex, conspicuously striped with dark-reddish to purple lines distally, at first dilated then suddenly contracting to orifice, directed horizontally, the inner part with a dark purple striped blotch or boss and 5–7 rows of small calli leading back into tube, nearer the base a row of calli extends in a single row along middle of lamina. Column with incurved, obscure wings. Flowers Sep.–Oct.

DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, OtP. Also SA, Qld, NSW. Usually found in swampy Melaleuca squarrosa heathland and swamps.

Similar to C. unguiculatus, but that species flowers earlier, has a plain purplish labellum that is slightly longer than the dorsal sepal and grows in drier habitats.

This species can be solitary or grow in colonies.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1994). Orchidaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Jeff Jeanes, 2015-02-17
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Corybas
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Corybas fordhamii in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Corybas fordhamii in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales