Calochilus robertsonii Benth.

Purplish Beard-orchid

Fl. Austral. 6: 315 (1873) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering plant 15–45 cm tall, slender to stout. Leaf erect, linear-lanceolate, to 30 cm long, shorter or longer than raceme, somewhat fleshy, channelled. Stem bracts 1–2. Flowers 2–9, green and purple; subtending bract lanceolate, tapering to a fine point, shorter or longer than flower; pedicel (excluding ovary) 5–14 mm long; dorsal sepal erect, broadly ovate, 12–15 mm long, concave, acute; lateral sepals ovate, as long as dorsal sepal but narrower, spreading at sides of labellum; petals spreading, ovate, asymmetric, about half as long as sepals, yellowish-green with dark vertical stripe. Labellum curved forward, base fleshy, lamina broadly triangular, 15–20 mm long, golden-yellow or green, extreme base covered with crowded purple glandular papillae, tip extending into short glabrous ribbon, in between densely bearded with long purple glistening glandular hairs. Column short, widely winged, with 2 purple eye-like glands at base, connected by a raised purple, often dotted ridge. Flowers Sep.–Dec.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WPro, Wim. All states except NT. Locally common, mainly in dryish open woodlands and heaths of western Victoria.

Molecular studies do not support the recently described C. platychilus as a species distinct from C. robertsonii, and it is here regarded as a synonym.

The closely related C. therophilus is generally more robust than C. robertsonii and flowers later.

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 Calochilus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Calochilus robertsonii in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Calochilus robertsonii in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina 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
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory