Calochilus herbaceus Lindl.

Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 459 (1840) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering plant 15–40 cm tall, slender to stout. Leaf erect, very short, linear-lanceolate, to 6 cm long, much shorter than raceme, rigid, fleshy, triangular in cross-section, channelled. Stem bracts 2, copper-coloured. Flowers 1–8, pale green to brownish with reddish stipes and purplish labellum hairs; subtending bract lanceolate, tapering to fine point, shorter than flower; pedicel (excluding ovary) 5–13 mm long; dorsal sepal erect, ovate, 9–12 mm long, concave, acute; lateral sepals ovate, 8–10 mm long, spreading below labellum; petals spreading, ovate-lanceolate, much shorter and narrower than dorsal sepal, yellow with darker stripes. Labellum curved, with fleshy rectangular base and wide triangular lamina, 9–14 mm long; margins fringed with reddish-purple hairs with metallic lustre; basal portion covered by 2–6 smooth, longitudinal, metallic-blue plates; central portion moderately covered with bristly purple hairs; tip recurved, ending in short glandular strap-like tail. Column short, winged, with 2 purple, eye-like glands at base, connected by an obscure ridge. Flowers Oct.–Jan.

CVU, EGL, GipP, Glep, GGr, HSF, OtP, OtR, Strz, VVP. Also Tas. Widespread but localised on poorly drained sandy soils and peat in coastal scrubs, sedgeland or heathland, often in disturbed sites.

The similar Calochilus campestris generally has more flowers that are larger and a much longer leaf.

Created by: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-10-30
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-15
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Calochilus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Calochilus herbaceus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Calochilus herbaceus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory