Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Davejonesia prenticei

Cylindrical Button Orchid

Davejonesia prenticei (F.Muell.) M.A.Clem., Orchadian 13(11): 487 (2002).

Dendrobium prenticei (F.Muell.) Nicholls, North Queensland Naturalist 7(56): 2 (1938). Bulbophyllum prenticei F.Muell., S. Sci. Rec. 1: 173 (1881); Dendrobium lichenastrum var. prenticei (F.Muell.) Dockrill, North Queensland Naturalist 24(115): 20-21 (1956). Type: Bellenden Ker Range, at an elevation of 3-4,000 feet, Aug. 1881, Karsten s.n. (holo MEL).

Dendrobium variabile Nicholls, North Queensland Naturalist 7(56): 2 (1938). Type: Mt Fox, Mar. 1936, A. Glindeman s.n. (holo MEL).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Mount Finnigan near Cooktown to Mount Spec near Ingham.

Altitude: 5-1400 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming slender strands. Stem creeping, appressed to host, branching, 2 mm thick, sheathed in papery bracts. Leaves erect, apical, alternate, petiolate; lamina terete, cylindrical or ovoid, 2.5-4 cm x 0.4 cm, dark green, straight or curved, fleshy, apex obtuse. Inflorescence axillary, single-flowered, from leaf base; pedicels 10-15 mm long, thin. Flowers solitary, resupinate, erect, 4-5 mm x 5-7 mm, white, cream, pink or mauve, with red stripes and prominent yellow to orange labellum. Sepals and petals spreading widely, thin-textured. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, ovate, 4-5 mm x 2.5 mm. Lateral sepals divergent, triangular, 4-5 mm x 4 mm, bases fused to the column foot. Petals much narrower than sepals, obliquely erect, linear, 4-5 mm x 0.5 mm, apex obtuse. Labellum oblong, c. 7 mm x 2 mm, fleshy, obscurely lobed, basal margins thickened. Column short, 1 mm long, nearly straight. Column foot curved, 3 mm long, at right-angles to column. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests and open forests, growing on the outer branches of rainforest trees. It also colonises remnant trees in paddocks.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: Sporadic throughout the year.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Dendrobium lichenastrum var. prenticei.

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