Orthoceras strictum R.Br.

Horned Orchid

Prodr. 317 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering plant 33–80 cm tall, rigid. Leaves 2–5, erect, grass-like, acute and channelled, sheathing at base, 5–20 cm long. Stem bracts 1–3, with long sheathing base, lamina narrow and tapering. Flowers maroon, greenish-brown or almost green, sometimes perfumed, 2–7, each subtended and exceeded by a lanceolate, long-pointed bract which, at least initially, encloses the ovary; pedicel short, thick; dorsal sepal more or less ovate, hooded over column, 10–15 mm long; lateral sepals laterally spreading, linear, subterete, 15–28 mm long; petals obscured by dorsal sepal, oblong, c. 5 mm long, tips bluntish and often notched. Labellum sessile, c. 10 mm long, prominently 3-lobed; lateral lobes broad, erect, not more than half the total length; mid-lobe elliptic to slightly ovate, acute to obtuse; lamina smooth except for large pyramidal callus at base. Column wings variable in length. Flowers Nov.–Feb.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HSF, LoM, NIS, OtP, Strz, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, Tas. New Zealand, New Caledonia. Uncommon but widespread orchid, occurring in a range of environments including mallee scrub, heaths, open grassy forests and riparian shrublands.

A variant, known from near Anglesea, differs in having the floral bract not or barely exceeding the ovary at anthesis and the labellum midlobe with a more rounded apex. Further research is needed to understand the taxonomic significance, if any, of these features.

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: Daniel Ohlsen, 2016-10-06
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Orthoceras
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Orthoceras strictum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Orthoceras strictum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain 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
Strzelecki Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory