Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Adelopetalum lilianiae

Warty Strand Orchid

Adelopetalum lilianiae (Rendle) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Orchadian 13(11): 498 (2002).

Bulbophyllum lilianiae Rendle, J. Bot. 55: 308 (1917). Type: Bellenden Ker, summit, Mar. 1914, L.S. Gibbs 6304 (holo BM).

Bulbophyllum revolutum Dockrill & St. Cloud, Victorian Naturalist 74: 67, t. 4 (1957). Type: North Queensland, Mt. Lewis, near Mt. Molloy, Aug. 1955, J. Dyson-Holland s.n. (holo NSW).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland where it is mainly distributed between the Big Tableland and the Evelyn Tableland, with southerly occurrences at Paluma and Mount Spec.

Altitude: 900-1600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming sparse slender clumps. Rhizome creeping, appressed to host, much branched, to 1 mm thick. Pseudobulbs very widely spaced, erect to obliquely depressed, conical, 7-12 mm x 3-4 mm, dark green to yellowish, deeply grooved. Leaf solitary on pseudobulb, erect to prostrate, apical, sessile or shortly petiolate; lamina ovate to oblong, 1.2-2.5 cm x 0.6-0.8 cm wide, dark green to yellowish, thin textured but tough. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, from base of pseudobulb, 15-25 mm long, filiform. Flowers 1-3, resupinate, porrect, campanulate, 4-5 mm x 6-8 mm, cream, pale green or reddish with dark red stripes and pink labellum. Sepals and petals not widely spreading, exterior surface of sepals sparsely tuberculate. Dorsal sepal porrect, hooded, oblong to ovate, 5-7 mm x 2-3 mm, apex acute to acuminate. Lateral sepals divergent, falcate, ovate to deltate, 4.5-6 mm x 3-4 mm, bases fused to column foot, apex acute to acuminate. Petals porrect, oblong to ovate, 3-4 mm x 1-2 mm, apex obtuse. Labellum porrect, ovate, 3-3.5 mm x 1.2-1.5 mm, curved, thick, fleshy, channelled, margins recurved. Column at an oblique angle to the ovary, 1-1.5 mm long. Column foot at right-angles to column, 2.5-3 mm long. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in highland rainforests on ridges and mountain tops in windy situations where clouds, mists and fogs are frequent. In tall rainforests this species grows on the uppermost branches of trees; in stunted forests it grows on shrubs, trees and rocks, sometimes exposed to full sun.

Locally common.

Flowering period: July-September.


The rhizomes of this species branch sparsely and the plants generally form slender strands.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Bulbophyllum lilianiae.

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