Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Aphyllorchis anomala

Simple Pauper Orchid

Aphyllorchis anomala Dockrill, Orchadian 1: 116, f. (1965). Type: Davies Creek, North Queensland, 23 Jan. 1965, N. Morris and A.W. Dockrill s.n. (holo BRI).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland, mainly from Rossville to the Atherton Tableland, in Finch Hatton Gorge and in Conway Range near Airlie Beach.

Altitude: 0-500 m.


Terrestrial leafless herb. Leaves absent. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, erect, 300-550 mm long, deep purple, shiny, fleshy, brittle; pedicels 2-3 mm long. Flowers 4-20, resupinate, erect to porrect, 10-12 mm x 10-12 mm, white with purple stripes and markings. Sepals and petals similar in size, not opening widely. Dorsal sepal curved forwards, hooded, ovate, 10-12 mm x 3 mm, apex acute to acuminate. Lateral sepals free, obliquely deflexed, divergent, 10-12 mm x 3 mm, apex acuminate. Petals obliquely erect, 10-12 mm x 2 mm, apex acuminate, often twisted. Labellum unlobed, fully exposed, oblong, 9-11 mm x 2.5 mm, white with purple markings closer to the margin, smooth; margins sometimes with 2 irregular short teeth, apex decurved and often twisted. Column erect, curved forward slightly, 7 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect to penulous, fusiform, 20-25 mm long, 3-4 mm wide, cream with purple ridges, dehiscent.


Grows at lower altitudes in rainforests, where it occurs in moist shady locations adjacent to streams. It is typically found in sandy soils or loams rich in decaying vegetation. The flowers are self-pollinating and are usually fertilised before opening.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: December-May.

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