Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Cestichis fleckeri

Slender Sphinx Orchid

Cestichis fleckeri (Nicholls) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 15(1): 38 (2005).

Liparis fleckeri Nicholls, North Queensland Naturalist 6(53): 1, f. (1938). Type: Growing on rocks, Bellenden Ker-about 4,000 feet above sea level, Apr. 1937, H. Flecker 3080 (holo MEL).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland at higher altitudes from Mount Finnigan near Cooktown to Tully Falls on the Cardwell Range.

Altitude: 900-1600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming medium-sized to large dense clumps. Rhizome superficial. Pseudobulbs crowded, erect, conical, 2.5-3.5 cm x 2-3 cm, dark green, fleshy, furrowed, wrinkled. Leaves 2 per pseudobulb, erect, apical, sessile; lamina linear to lanceolate, 15-35 cm x 2-2.5 cm, thin-textured, dark green, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, arching, 150-250 mm long; pedicels 8-20 mm long, including ovary. Flowers 5-20, resupinate, erect to porrect, star-shaped, 10-12 mm x 8-10 mm, pale green or whitish ageing yellowish. Sepals and petals narrow, recurved. Dorsal sepal free, erect to recurved, subulate, 8-9 mm x 2 mm. Lateral sepals free, subulate, 8-9 mm x 2.5 mm. Petals linear, very narrow, 8-9 mm x 0.2 mm. Labellum unlobed, broader than sepals and petals, strongly recurved from middle, 6-8 mm x 3-4 mm, base channelled, with 2 prominent fused orange calli (no ridges), apex rounded with short central point. Column 4 mm long, curved forward, swollen at apex. Column foot absent. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in highland rainforests or cloudforests growing on trees and rocks.

Locally common.

Flowering period: May-August.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Liparis fleckeri.

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