Microtis rara R.Br.

Prodr. 321 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering stem 20–50 cm tall, slender. Leaf 20–50 cm long, tapering gradually to long slender apex; sheath opening well below inflorescence. Flowers 10–50, green, fragrant, erect, in loose spike-like raceme 3–16 cm long; ovary almost ellipsoid, 2–3 mm long, on short pedicel, standing out from stem; dorsal sepal ovate, c. 3 mm long, almost erect, narrowly hooded, apex pointed and slightly recurved; lateral sepals linear-oblong, shorter than dorsal sepal, spreading, recurved to tightly revolute; petals lanceolate and sickle-shaped, shorter than dorsal sepal, basal margins overlapped by dorsal sepal. Labellum reflexed against ovary, more or less oblong, 3–5 mm long, usually constricted about the middle; margins minutely notched, often thickened; apex truncate or notched; lamina with 2 large basal calli and 1 smaller apical one. Column with relatively large auricles.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, SnM, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro. All States except NT. Found in swamps or wet areas, often deeply shaded. Flowers Nov.-Jan. Widespread but generally uncommon in open forest and scrub and most abundant after bushfires.

Apart from those features mentioned in the key, M. rara differs from M. unifolia in having narrower ovary, longer more slender pedicels, a broader, more shallowly hooded dorsal sepal and a narrower labellum often with thickened margins.

Although Clements (1989) and Jones (2006) retain M. oblonga as a species distinct from M. rara, the 2 taxa are here treated as synonymous.

Source: Entwisle, T.J.; Bates, R.J. (1994). Microtis. 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, 2015-02-19
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Microtis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Microtis rara in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Microtis rara in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory