Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Zeuxine oblonga

Common Jewel Orchid

Zeuxine oblonga R.S.Rogers & C.T.White, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 32: 120-2, f 2 (1921). Type: Kamerunga (Barron River), E. Cowley s.n. (lectotype AD), fide Clements (1989); Syntypes: MacKay, L.J. Nugent s.n. (AD); Daintree River, G. Rosenstrom s.n. (AD).


Occurs in the northern parts of the Northern Territory, and in Queensland from Cape York Peninsula, south to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales.

Altitude: 5-1000 m.


Terrestrial herb forming loose colonies. Rhizome prostrate, cylindrical, usually unbranched, fleshy. Stem erect, apical, 5-10 cm x 2.5-3 cm, fleshy. Leaves 3-7, scattered along stem, prostrate, forming loose rosette near apex of stem, sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina narrowly ovate, 4-8 cm x 2-3 cm, dark green, thin, margins undulate. Inflorescence a terminal spike, 100-300 mm long, fleshy, brittle, hairy, pinkish. Flowers 5-30, crowded, resupinate, porrect, 4-4.5 mm x 3 mm, dull green and white, externally hairy. Dorsal sepal projecting forward, hooded, 4 mm x 2 mm, green with pink margins. Lateral sepals free, divergent, 3 mm x 1.5 mm, green. Petals enclosed by dorsal sepal, oblong, 3.5 mm x 1.5 mm, white. Labellum 4 mm x 3.5 mm, white; apex divided into 2 oblong divergent lobes, each with entire or undulate margins; base with 2 linear or reniform calli. Column stout, 1 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsule erect, hairy, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests, wetter forests and swampy areas adjacent to streams, growing in dark moist situations. It can also be found colonising sheltered road embankments, gutters and tracks. Plants are deciduous and the leaves are generally withered by flowering time.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: July-September.

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