Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Thelychiton fleckeri

Apricot Cane Orchid

Thelychiton fleckeri (Rupp & C.T.White) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 491 (2002).

Dendrobium fleckeri Rupp & C.T.White, Queensland Naturalist 10: 25, t. 1 (1937); Tropilis fleckeri (Rupp & C.T.White) Butzin, Willdenowia 12(2): 250 (1982); Tropilis fleckeri (Rupp & C.T.White) Rauschert, Feddes Repert. 94(7-8): 470 (1983), nom. illeg. Types: Mount Spurgeon, Cairns district, Sep. 1935, H. Flecker s.n. (lectotype NSW), fide Clements (1989); Syntype: Mount Spurgeon, Cairns district Sep. 1936, C.T. White and T. Carr s.n. (NSW).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Mount Finnigan to Mount Fisher.

Altitude: 900-1600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small to medium-sized untidy clumps. Pseudobulbs erect, cylindrical, 15-40 cm x 0.3-0.5 cm, yellowish green, thin, furrowed. Leaves 2-3, erect, apical, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing pseudobulb; lamina ovate, 5-8 cm x, 2-2.5 cm, dark green, apex unevenly acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, 10-25 mm long; pedicels 1-1.5 mm long. Flowers 1-4, resupinate, porrect, star-shaped, 27-30 mm x 25-30 mm, usually apricot-coloured, less commonly yellowish green. Sepals and petals fleshy, widely spreading. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, ovate, 14-17 mm x 6-8 mm. Lateral sepals divergent, triangular, 14-17 mm x 10-12 mm, fused to column foot at base. Petals spreading, narrowly oblong, 13-15 mm x 3 mm. Labellum 10 mm x 10 mm, white with purplish red suffusions and markings, 3-lobed; lateral lobes large, erect, apices apiculate; midlobe with 3 keels, margins with dense tangled white hairs to 3 mm long. Column 4 mm long. Column foot curved, 9 mm long. Capsule porrect to pendulous, dehiscent.


Occurs in cloud and mist forests on slopes and peaks where there is abundant air movement. It grows on trees, shrubs and boulders, often among moss, and frequently produces numerous aerial growths. The flowers have a sweet musky fragrance.

Locally common.

Flowering period: August-January.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Dendrobium fleckeri.

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