Autumn Bird-orchid

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Terrestrial glabrous herbs, arising from small tubers. Leaves 2, basal, erect or ground-hugging, opposite, margins often undulate or crisped. Flowering stem with bract sheathing pedicel, broadly ovate to ovate-lanceolate, terminated by fine point; pedicel elongating considerably after fertilization. Flower solitary, held almost erect or obliquely erect, with column uppermost, fleshy, green to brown; dorsal sepal erect and incurved; lateral sepals free, deflexed or decurved, linear; petals spreading or reflexed. Labellum undivided, lamina broad, margins entire, narrowing to short attaching segment at base, upper surface with numerous, heterogeneous, darker calli; after maturity lamina drawn upwards so that calli are pressed against the column. Column elongate, slender, incurved, wings prominent in upper half.

About 30 species, all found in eastern Australia, with 3 extending to New Zealand, 7 in Victoria.

Pollinated by sexually attracted male thynnine wasps, or self-pollinating in C. cornuta.

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: Val Stajsic, 2018-07-09
Hero image