Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Corybas barbarae

Fairy Lantern

Corybas barbarae D.L.Jones, Austrobaileya 2(5): 548-50, f. 1 D, E & F (1988). Type: Queensland. Moreton District: Heritage Creek, south-eastern side of Mt Tamborine, protected slopes in open forest, 21 May 1987, D.L. Jones 2484 and B.E. Jones (holo BRI; iso AD, AMES, BRI, CANB, K, MEL, MO, NSW, PERTH, US).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Mount Windsor Tableland on the western side of the Daintree River, to Sydney in New South Wales.

Altitude: 5-1300 m.

Also occurs on Lord Howe Island.


Terrestrial herb forming small colonies. Tubers 2, globose, fleshy. Leaf solitary, prostrate, ground-hugging, basal, lamina cordate, 2-3 cm x 2-3 cm, dark green or reddish green above, silvery green or reddish beneath. Inflorescence terminal, single-flowered, sessile. Flower solitary, resupinate, leaning forwards, 3-3.5 mm x 15-20 mm, sparkling white or pinkish. Dorsal sepal free, curved, strongly hooded, 27-32 mm x 15-20 mm, much longer than labellum. Lateral sepals much reduced, linear, 2 mm long. Petals minute, linear, 1 mm long. Labellum unlobed, white, mostly hidden by dorsal sepal, margins sharply recurved, densely covered with bristles. Column 4 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in moist forests on sheltered forested slopes growing in well-drained gravelly soils. It can also be found surviving on rainforest margins and areas invaded by rainforest. Plants form clonal colonies.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: May-July.

More about Corybas