Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Cepobaculum carronii

Pink Tea Tree Orchid

Cepobaculum carronii (Lavarack & P.J.Cribb) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 486 (2002).

Dendrobium carronii Lavarack & P.J.Cribb, Austrobaileya 1(5): 497-501 (1982). Type: Australia, Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, P.S. Lavarack 2573 (holo BRI).


Occurs in far north-eastern Queensland from Bamaga to McIlwraith Range.

Altitude: 200-600 m.

Also occurs in New Guinea.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small clumps. Rhizome superficial, branched. Pseudobulbs erect, conical, 3-5 cm x 2-3 cm, yellowish. Leaves 2-4 per pseudobulb, erect, apical, sessile; lamina terete, 7-12 cm x 0.5 cm, green to purplish, channelled, fleshy, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, erect to arching, 80-200 mm long, from apical nodes. Flowers 2-12, resupinate, porrect, star-shaped, 20-25 mm x 18-25 mm, pink with dark brown and purple markings. Sepals and petals opening widely; petals erect, much longer than sepals. Dorsal sepal free, obliquely erect, triangular, 4-5 mm x 3 mm, apex apiculate. Lateral sepals widely divergent, triangular, 4-5 mm x 3 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals erect, lanceolate, 15-20 mm x 3 mm, striped, apex twisted, acute. Labellum 14 mm x 8 mm, yellow; lateral lobes erect, entire; midlobe pointed, with 3 ridges. Column 3 mm long, purple. Column foot 5 mm long, curved backwards. Capsules pendulous, dehiscent.


Occurs in stunted open forests, especially adjacent to low-lying areas subject to occasional flooding. It is often found growing on Melaleuca viridiflora in bright, exposed situations and survives on trees on the margins of monsoonal thickets. The flowers are long-lasting and pollinated by wasps and hornets.

Locally common.

Flowering period: August-October.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Dendrobium carronii.

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