Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Cadetia taylori

Smooth Burr Orchid

Cadetia taylori (F.Muell.) Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1: 424 (1912).

Bulbophyllum taylori F.Muell., Fragm. 8: 150 (1874); Dendrobium hispidum F.Muell. var. taylori (F.Muell.) F.M.Bailey, Queensl. fl. 5: 1532 (1902). Type: Ad flumen Bloomfield’s River in silvis densis, N. Taylor s.n. (holo MEL).

Dendrobium uniflos F.M.Bailey, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 1: 12 (1884). Type: Near Herberton, J.W.R. Stuart s.n. (holo BRI).

Cadetia hispidum sensu Fitzg., Austral. orch. 2(3): [t. 7] (1888), non A.Rich. (1832).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Iron Range to Townsville.

Altitude: 5-1600 m.

Also occurs in New Guinea.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small dense clumps. Stems unbranched, erect, forming a tuft, cylindrical, 4-10 cm x 0.4-0.5 cm wide, shallowly grooved, base sheathed in papery bract when young. Leaf solitary on stem, erect, apical, oblong, 3-5 cm x 0.8-12 cm, dark green, leathery, apex emarginate. Inflorescence single-flowered, from meristem at leaf base; pedicel 10-20 mm long, enclosed by papery bract, 4-8 mm long; ovary smooth. Flowers 1-2, produced in sporadic bursts, resupinate, porrect to erect, opening widely, 10-12 mm wide, white with yellow or pink labellum. Sepals and petals widely spreading, sepals broader than petals. Dorsal sepal erect, oblong, 6 mm x 2 mm, incurved toward apex. Lateral sepals broadly oblong to broadly ovate, 6 mm x 4.5 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals obliquely erect, very narrow, linear, 6 mm x 0.5 mm, incurved in distal third. Labellum 8 x 5 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes oblong; midlobe strongly recurved, fleshy, densely hairy. Column 4 mm long. Column foot 3 mm long. Capsules smooth, dehiscent.


Occurs from sea-level to mountainous areas in rainforests, mangroves and sheltered forests, growing on rocks and trees. The flowers are insect-pollinated and long-lived, with each flower lasting many weeks.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: November-May.

More about Cadetia