Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Crepidium fimbriatum

Fringed Spur Orchid

Crepidium fimbriatum (Lavarack) Szlach., Fragm. Flor. Geobot., Supp. 3: 126 (1995).

Malaxis fimbriata Lavarack, Austrobaileya 1(4): 383-4, f. 23b (1981). Type: cult. ex Cook district: Leo Creek, Cape York Peninsula, Feb. 1977, P.S. Lavarack 1768 (holo BRI).


Occurs in far north-eastern Queensland on the McIlwraith Range, and possibly in Claudie River scrubs near Iron Range.

Altitude: 250-450 m.


Terrestrial herb forming small colonies. Stems reclining, cylindrical, 10-20 cm x 1 cm, fleshy. Leaves 4-15, scattered along the stem, erect to prostrate; petioles 2.5-5 cm long, channelled, bases sheathing stem; lamina ovate to obovate, 7-12 cm x 4-5 cm, dark green, shiny, plicate, margins undulate, apex acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, erect to pendulous, 150-250 mm long, purple, brittle, with prominent bracts; peduncle 4-sided, alate; pedicels 7-10 mm long, including ovary. Flowers numerous, crowded, non-respuinate, porrect, 5-7 mm x 3-4 mm, purple. Dorsal sepal stiffly deflexed, ovate to oblong, 3-3.5 mm x 1.5-2 mm, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals divergent, erect, asymmetrically ovate, 3-3.5 mm x 1.8 mm, apex obtuse. Petals divergent, recurved, linear, falcate, 2.5-3 mm x 1 mm, apex acute to acuminate. Labellum unlobed, horseshoe-shaped, 4-4.5 mm x 3-3.5 mm, with 8-12 narrow apical teeth 1-2 mm long; basal auricles triangular, apices apiculate. Column 1 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests on shady slopes and near streams growing among rocks and leaf litter. The plants are dormant throughout the drier months of the year, with the fleshy stems often covered by leaf litter. The growth of new stems commences with the summer rains. The small flowers do not self-pollinate and are believed to be splash-pollinated by falling raindrops.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: January-March.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Malaxis fimbriata.

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