Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Cadetia collinsii

McIlwraith Burr Orchid

Cadetia collinsii Lavarack, Austrobaileya 1(4): 381-2, f. 23a (1981). Type: cult. Brisbane, Feb. 1976 ex Rocky River, Cape York Peninsula, Sep. 1975, P.S. Lavarack 1742 (holo BRI).


Occurs in far north-eastern Queensland on Iron Range, Janet Range and McIlwraith Range.

Altitude: 400-700 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small tufted clumps. Stems unbranched, erect or curved, forming a tuft, cylindrical, 1-1.8 cm x 2-2.5 mm, slender. Leaf solitary on stem, erect, apical, shortly petiolate; lamina ovate to lanceolate, 1.5-3 cm x 0.7-1 cm, dark green, fleshy, apex emarginate. Inflorescence single-flowered, from meristem at leaf base; pedicel 3 mm long. Flowers solitary, resupinate, erect to porrect, opening narrowly, 6-8 mm wide, white, produced in sporadic bursts; ovary conspicuously covered with fleshy hair-like tubercles. Sepals similar in shape and size, much broader than petals. Dorsal sepal free, broadly ovate, 3 mm x 2.5 mm, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals broadly ovate, 3 mm x 2.5 mm, bases fused to column foot, apex obtuse. Petals linear, falcate, 3 mm x 0.5 mm. Labellum oblong, 4 mm x 2 mm, obscurely 3-lobed; lateral lobes small; midlobe hairless; spur c. 1.5 mm long, nearly globular. Column erect, 1.5-2 mm long; column wings forming 2 apical teeth, extending above anther. Column foot 1.5-2 mm long, in line with column. Capsules obovoid, 0.5-1 mm long, covered in small fleshy hair-like tubercules, dehiscent.


Occurs on the coastal side of ranges growing in small trees along ridges, slopes and gorges. It is often found occuring in small groups. The flowers do not open widely and are self-pollinating, lasting for 2-3 days.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: December-April.

More about Cadetia