Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Demorchis queenslandica

Rainforest Bells

Demorchis queenslandica (Dockrill) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Orchadian 14(8): Suppl. xiii (2004).

Gastrodia queenslandica Dockrill, North Queensland Naturalist 32 (136): 6-8 (1964). Type: Little Mulgrave River, North Queensland, 6 Jan.1962, A.W. Dockrill s.n. (holo BRI).


Occurs in far north-eastern Queensland from the McIlwraith Range to the Russell River near Cairns.

Altitude: 10-400 m.


Leafless terrestrial herb. Rhizome unbranched, cylindrical, horizontal, 2-7 mm x 4-7 mm. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, erect, 40-80 mm long, light brown, thin, fleshy, brittle; elongating to 300 mm when in fruit. Flowers 1-2, resupinate, porrect to nodding, ovoid, 10 mm long, inflated, yellowish brown. Sepals and petals fused for most of length into a tube, to 10 mm long, thick-textured, roughened outside, interior orange. Sepals thick, fleshy, with prominent external longitudinal keel. Dorsal sepal obovate, hooded, apex recurved. Lateral sepals divergent, with raised rugose area on internal surface, apex recurved. Petals covered by sepals for most of length, apices free, divergent, recurved. Labellum with hinge that has 2 warty calli, 5.5 mm x 3 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect, entire; midlobe blunt, with 2 prominent blunt ridges. Column porrect, 7 mm long; wings with 2 stelidia extending above anther, black or dark brown. Column foot short. Capsules erect, cylindrical, 2 mm x 0.6 mm, dehiscent.


Occurs in lowland rainforests growing in small groups among leaf litter on the forest floor. It is rarely seen, being cryptic and diminutive, and above ground for only 1-2 weeks. The capsules and peduncles, which elongate during fruiting, are more conspicuous than the flowers.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: November-January.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Gastrodia queenslandica.

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