Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Bryobium irukandjianum

Small Urchin Orchid

Bryobium irukandjianum (St.Cloud) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 501 (2002).

Eria irukandjianaSt.Cloud, North Queensland Naturalist 23(111): 1-2, f. (1955). Type: Growing on Casuarina species, 1500 ft., Nesbit Range, Trinity Bay, North Queensland, Nov. 1954, S.F. St.Cloud s.n. (holo QRS).

Eria johnsonii T.E.Hunt, Muelleria 1: 21-23, f. IV (1956). Type: cult. Ipswich, Oct. 1950, T.E. Hunt 107 ex Queensland-Cook District: Mt. Islay, at 3,000 feet, 7 May 1950, A. Johnson s.n. (holo BRI).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from McIlwraith Range to Atherton Tableland.

Altitude: 500-1000 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small dense clumps. Rhizome superficial. Pseudobulbs crowded, small, ovoid, 0.8-1.2 cm x 0.8-1.2 cm, fleshy, green. Leaves 2-3 per pseudobulb, erect, apical, linear to lanceolate, 5-12 cm x 0.6-1 cm, bright green, thick, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axiliary raceme, erect, very short, 10-15 mm long, fleshy, thick; pedicels 3 mm long. Flowers 7-12, resupinate, porrect, 3 mm x 3 mm, whitish to dull pink, crowded towards apex of raceme, externally hairy, subtended by prominent brown bracts. Sepals and petals spreading. Dorsal sepal free, ovate, 2 mm x 0.7 mm, apex obtuse to acute. Lateral sepals oblong, falcate, 2 mm x 0.7 mm, bases fused to column foot, apex decurved, acute. Petals 1.5 mm x 0.5 mm. Labellum unlobed, 1.5 mm x 1 mm, tip decurved. Column 1 mm long. Column foot vestigial. Capsules erect or porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests in bright humid situations, usually on the upper branches of rainforest trees and in open forests on Allocasuarina species. The flowers are self-pollinating and short-lived.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: October-December.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Eria irukandjiana.

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