Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Cadetia clausa

Closed Burr Orchid

Cadetia clausa D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Austral. Orchid. Res. 5: 4, f.1.4 (21 Dec. 2006). Type: Queensland. Moa Peak, N end of Moa Island, 11 Feb. 1989, D.L. Jones 3589 (holo CANB!).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on Moa Island in Torres Strait.

Altitude: 150-300 m.


Epiphytic herb forming small clumps. Stems unbranched, erect to spreading semi-erect, forming a tuft, 4-7 cm x 0.1-0.15 cm wide, slender, flattened, widening toward apex, basal bract loosely sheathing stem. Leaf solitary on stem, erect, apical, sessile; lamina ovate, oblong or elliptic, 3-7 cm x 1-1.5 cm, dark green, thin, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence single-flowered, from a meristem at leaf base; pedicels c. 1 mm long, enclosed by brownish papery bract. Flowers solitary, produced in sporadic bursts, resupinate, porrect to erect, globose, 3 mm across, white; short-lived, cleistogamous, produced at sporadic intervals. Ovary conspicuously covered with fleshy hair-like tubercles, obovoid, 3 mm long. Sepal and petals remaining incurved, not opening; sepals broader than petals. Dorsal sepal oblong to elliptic, 1.5 mm x 1 mm. Lateral sepals asymmetrically ovate, 1.7 mm x 1.3 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals linear to lanceolate, 1.5 mm x 0.3 mm. Labellum 3.5 mm x 2.5 mm, lower surface pubescent, white; lateral lobes vestigial; midlobe 3-lobed, margins flared and denticulate; spur 1 mm long, saccate. Column 2 mm long; column wings forming 2 apical teeth. Column foot 1.5 mm long, pubescent. Capsules obovoid, 5 mm long, covered in small fleshy hair-like tubercules, 1-1.3 mm long.


Occurs in rainforests on low hills, growing on rough-barked trees. The flowers are short-lived and self-pollinate without opening.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: January-July.

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