Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Acriopsis emarginata

Pale Chandelier Orchid

Acriopsis emarginata D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Austral. Orchid. Res. 5: 3-4, f.1.1 (21 Dec. 2006). Type: Queensland. Cook District, Daintree River Valley, 13 Oct. 2004, R. Savage and B. Gray (ORG 4566) (holo CANB 667057; iso BRI, NSW).


Occurs in far north-eastern Queensland from Cape York to the Daintree River.

Altitude: 0-300 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming dense clumps. Roots much branched, aerial, thin, white, lacing over and covering pseudobulbs. Pseudobulbs crowded, ovoid, 3-7 cm x 3-4 cm, pale green, shiny, and covered in white, scarious sheaths when young. Leaves 2-4, erect, apical, sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina narrowly ovate to narrowly elliptical, 15-20 cm x 2-2.5 cm, dark green, leathery. Inflorescence an axillary panicle, arching, 200-600 mm long, from base of pseudobulb, thin, wiry; pedicels 4-5 mm long. Flowers numerous, resupinate, porrect, 4-5 mm wide, cream, yellowish or pinkish with white labellum. Dorsal sepal erect, linear to oblong, 4-5 mm x 1 mm, yellowish-green, distal margins incurved, apex incurved. Lateral sepals fused along inner margins forming a synsepalum, cymbiform, 4-5 mm x 1.5 mm, projecting beneath the labellum, yellowish-green. Petals spreading widely, linear-obovate, 4-5 mm x 1 mm, apex obtuse, yellowish-green, becoming white at the margins. Labellum fused to column, porrect to obliquely deflexed, 4-5 mm x 4 mm; 3-lobed; lateral lobes, broadly triangular and spreading, midlobe short with 2 prominent calli. Column porrect, 3.5-4 mm long; with narrow cylindrical arms, 1.5 mm long; column wings forming mitra over anther. Column foot absent. Capsules ovoid to ellipsoid, 6-8 mm x 4-5 mm, dehiscent.


Grows on trees in hot humid lowland habitats such as rainforests, swamps and rainforest margins. Plants are frequently found occurring on paperbarks, palms and Pandanus spp., and usually grow on the upper sections of tree trunks and on branches in the lower canopy. In palms they are often found growing in leaf bases with their roots visible in amongst the fibrous leaf sheaths. The inflorescence remains green for many months after flowering has finished and the capsules open distinctively when ripe, splitting into three and opening like a flower.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: June to November.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Acriopsis javanica.

More about Acriopsis