Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Australorchis carrii

Furrowed Moon Orchid

Australorchis carrii (Rupp & C.T.White) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Orchadian 13(11): 485 (2002).

Dendrobium carrii Rupp & C.T.White, Queensland Naturalist 10: 26, t. 2 (1937); Queensland Naturalist 12: 19 (1942); Katherinea carrii (Rupp & C.T.White) Brieger, Schlechter Die Orchideen 3(1): 737 (1981). Type: (holo not preserved); cult. N.S.W., Sep. 1944, H.M.R. Rupp ex Mt. Spurgeon, North Queensland, Sep. 1936, C.T. White and T. Carr s.n. (neotype NSW), fide Clements (1989).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Mount Finnigan to the ranges inland from Innisfail.

Altitude: 900-1600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic orchid forming spreading strands or tangled masses. Rhizome creeping, appressed to host, branched, 2.5-4 mm wide. Pseudobulbs widely spaced, ovoid to conical, short, 2-3.5 cm x 10-15 mm, yellowish green, hard, furrowed, sheathed in papery bracts when young. Leaves 1-2 per pseudobulb, erect, apical, sessile; lamina linear to narrowly oblong, 5-10 cm x 0.7-1 cm wide, dark green, thin-textured, leathery, sometimes twisted along length, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, erect to arching, 30-80 mm long, thin: pedicels 5-9 mm long. Flowers 5-10, resupinate, porrect, star-shaped, 8-10 mm wide, white or cream with orange or yellow labellum. Sepals and petals narrowly to widely spreading, narrowly triangular, apices acuminate. Dorsal sepal free, obliquely erect, 10-14 mm x 1.5 mm. Lateral sepals divergent, falcate, 12-14 mm x 2 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals free, porrect, 10-14 mm x 1.5 mm. Labellum curved, elliptic, 14 mm x 6 mm, with 3 lobes; lateral lobes short, incurved; midlobe thick, noticeably longer than lateral lobes, orange with darker markings, with 3 slender ridges, apex acute. Column more or less straight, 2 mm long. Column foot curved, 3-4 mm long, at slight angle to column. Capsules pendulous, dehiscent.


Grows in humid well-ventilated rainforests and cloudforest habitats, usually found on the exposed outer branches of rainforest trees where fogs, mists and clouds are frequent. Flowering occurs in spring and the flowers are insect-pollinated. Seed is dispered 4-6 months after flowering.

Locally common.

Flowering period: August-October.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Dendrobium carrii.

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