Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Cestichis condylobulbon

Tapered Sphinx Orchid

Cestichis condylobulbon (Rchb.f.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 15(1): 40 (2005).

Liparis condylobulbon Rchb.f., Hamb. Gartenz 18: 34 (1862). Type: cult. ex Batavia, Schiller s.n. (holo W).

Liparis nesophila Rchb.f. in Otia., Bot. Hamburg. 1: 56 (1878). Type: Viti or Fiji Islands, Kakadrove, 1860, B. Seemann 614 (holo K).

Liparis confusa J.J.Sm., Orch. Java 275, f. 211 (1908). Type: Java, J.J. Smith s.n. (holo L).

Liparis longipes auct. non Lindl.: Rchb.f. in Seem., Fl. Vit. 302 (1868).


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

Altitude: 400-500 m.

Also occurs in Fiji, Indonesia, New Caledonia, New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and possibly also in Malaysia.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small to medium-sized dense clumps. Rhizome superficial. Pseudobulbs crowded, erect, flask-shaped, swollen at base then tapering to long narrow neck, 8-15 cm x 1-2 cm, light green to yellow-green, fleshy. Leaves 2 per pseudobulb, erect to prostrate, apical, sessile; lamina narrowly lanceolate, 8-20 cm x 1.5-2.2 cm, light green to yellow-green, thin-textured, apex obtuse. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, stiffly erect, 70-150 mm long; pedicels 3 mm long, including ovary. Flowers 15-35, resupinate, erect to nodding, star-shaped, 3.5-4.5 mm x 4-5 mm, pale green to cream with orange labellum, translucent. Dorsal sepal free, erect to recurved, elliptic, 2.5-3 mm x 1 mm. Lateral sepals free, reflexed against ovary, asymmetrically ovate, 2.5-3 mm x 1 mm. Petals deflexed, linear, narrow, 2.5-3 mm x 0.3 mm. Labellum unlobed, broader than sepals and petals, strongly recurved from middle, 3 mm x 2 mm, base channelled, margins minutely toothed, apex emarginate. Column 1.5 mm long, curved forward slightly at apex. Column foot absent. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests growing on rocks and trees on humid slopes and valleys.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: December-August.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Liparis condylobulbon.

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