Prasophyllum frenchii F.Muell

Swamp Leek-orchid

Victorian Naturalist 6: 126 (1889) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:EPBC: endangered (EN); Victoria: endangered (e); listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Flowering stem usually robust, 15–60(–100) cm tall. Leaf-blade to 20 cm long, 5–10 mm diam. at base, green, apex lax, often withered at flowering. Flowers 20–65, fragrant, green to reddish brown or red, subsessile in a loose to quite dense spike which is well exserted from the leaf; ovary ovoid, 3–5 mm long, green, standing out from the rachis; sepals 5–8 mm long, dorsal sepal ovate, lateral sepals free, lanceolate, nearly parallel, erect to recurved; petals 6–7 mm long, oblong-elliptic, blunt. Labellum trullate, 5–6 mm long, green or red-tinted, recurved at right angles past the middle; base pouched, swollen, thick-textured with incurved margins, margins slightly crinkled; apex triangular, subacute, entire; callus plate much-raised, horseshoe-shaped just beyond bend, verrucose. Column appendages oblong, to 2.2 mm long, obtuse. Flowers Oct.–Nov.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, NIS, OtP, OtR, VVP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, NSW. Widespread across southern Victoria, but rare. Occurs in grassland, heathland and open forest on well-drained or water-retentive sand or clay loams.

A very variable species, closely related to Prasophyllum diversiflorum, which has narrower flowers with a laterally compressed labellum, a larger callus plate and hatchet-shaped column appendages and to P. litorale, which has short, dense flowering spikes (hardly exserted from the leaf) and a more crenate labellum margin.

Prasophyllum frenchii has become endangered due to substantial loss of habitat.

Source: Bates, R.J. (1994). Prasophyllum. 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: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-15
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Prasophyllum
Higher taxa


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

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales