Acianthus exsertus R.Br.

Mosquito Orchid

Prodr. 321 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering plant 10–24 cm tall. Leaf cordate, thin, 2–4 cm long, 15–30 mm wide, green above, reddish-purple beneath, entire or sometimes shallowly lobed. Flowers 2–15, light greyish-purple, labellum greenish-yellow with dark central band and margins; pedicel (including ovary) 5–8 mm long, subtended by small bract; dorsal sepal more or less hooded, linear-obovate, 7–9 mm long, apical point c. 2 mm long; lateral sepals projected obliquely forwards, parallel or divergent, linear to linear-oblanceolate with fine point, similar in length to dorsal sepal; petals spreading or reflexed, linear-ovate to ovate, relatively short, 3–4 mm long. Labellum on short claw, slightly decurved distally, ovate-cordate, 5–7 mm long, 3–4 mm wide; base of lamina truncate to cordate, margins revolute, entire, apex with short point; callus thick, fleshy, papillose towards the apex. Column incurved, almost terete, not winged. Flowers Mar.–Jun.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, VVP, Wim. Also NSW, SA. Confirmed records are confined to open-forests in eastern Victoria, but the species is likely to be more widespread. Most records are now referable to A. pusillus.

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, 2014-11-20
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Acianthus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Acianthus exsertus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Acianthus exsertus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway 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
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory