Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Blepharochilum sladeanum

Long Eyelash Orchid

Blepharochilum sladeanum M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 499 (2002).

Bulbophyllum cochleatum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 8: 455 (1910), non Lindl. (1862); Bulbophyllum sladeanum A.Hawkes, Lloydia 19: 93 (1956). Type: Auf dem Mount Bellenden-Ker, 1891, S. Johnson s.n. (holo B).

Bulbophyllum macphersonii Rupp var. spathulatum Dockrill & St. Cloud, North Queensland Naturalist 26(117): 4 (1957). Type: Davies Creek (Mareeba), 20 May 1956, St. Cloud and J.H. Wilkie s.n. (holo NSW).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on the higher parts of the Atherton Tableland and the higher parts of the coastal ranges between Mossman and Mount Bartle Frere, including the Bellenden Ker Range.

Altitude: 600-1300 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small dense, congested clumps. Rhizomes creeping, closely appressed to host, branching. Pseudobulbs crowded, alternate, erect to suberect, globular, tiny, 0.1-0.2 cm x 0.1 cm, somewhat flattened, dark green. Leaf solitary on pseudobulb, apical, linear to elliptic, often curved, 1.5-3 cm x 0.4-0.6 cm, dark green to mid green, deeply channelled, thick and fleshy. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, erect, 50-70 mm long, emerging from base of pseudobulb, filiform. Flower solitary, non-resupinate, erect to porrect, 15-25 mm x 15-25 mm, dark reddish purple to purple. Perianth segments spreading widely, sometimes recurved. Dorsal sepal narrowly ovate, 7-12 mm x 2-3 mm. Lateral sepals erect, fused along inner margins to form synsepalum, ovate, 7-12 mm x 4-4.5 mm, bases fused to column foot, apex unequally emarginate. Petals spreading widely, elliptic, 8-11 mm x 2-3 mm, margins shortly hairy, apex long-aristate. Labellum tremulous, hinged to column foot by short claw, narrowly obovate to spathulate, 5-7 mm x 2-3 mm, margins with long, fine hairs, those on the narrow basal part gland-tipped. Column 1.5 mm long, with 2 prominent stelidia, erect, apical. Column foot curved, at right-angles to the column. Capsules erect, asymmetric, dehiscent.


Grows on the small branches and twigs of shrubs and trees in highland rainforests. Plants are usually found in sheltered areas of high humidity where clouds and mists commonly occur.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: March-August.


This species is not always readily distinguishable from B. macphersonii and intermediate forms may occur in some areas.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Bulbophyllum sladeanum and Bulbophyllum macphersonii var. spathulatum.

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