Microtis parviflora R.Br.

Slender Onion-orchid

Prodr. 321 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering stem 20–50 cm tall, slender to robust, more or less fleshy. Leaf erect, 20–50 cm long, usually exceeding inflorescence, hollow, apex pointed; sheath opening well below inflorescence. Flowers 10–80, green, suberect, in usually crowded raceme 3–16 cm long; ovary obovoid to more or less ellipsoid, 3–5 mm long, on short, stout or slender pedicel, standing well out from stem; dorsal sepal ovate to circular, c. 2 mm long, hooded, with a short straight or recurved tip; lateral sepals linear-oblong, slightly shorter than dorsal sepal, almost acute, deflexed, becoming curved; petals lanceolate and sickle-shaped, shorter than dorsal sepal, almost acute, more or less concealed by dorsal sepal. Labellum decurved through a semicircle, more or less cordate; 1–2 mm long; margins entire or undulate; apex obtuse or acute with a short decurved point; lamina with prominent pair of basal calli, ovate in shape, sometimes flanking a small pouch which bulges on underside of labellum, apical callus absent or at most represented by a minute papillose area. Column with prominent rounded wing-like auricles. Flowers Oct.–Feb.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. All States except NT. New Zealand. Common and widespread in many habitats including open forests, woodlands, scrublands and grasslands in dry to moist soils. Often colonises gardens, lawns and pastures.

The labellum shape and calli arrangement are characteristic for this species. Flowers are frequently pollinated by ants.

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 parviflora in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Microtis parviflora in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
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
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Strzelecki Ranges 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