Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Dienia montana

Common Snout Orchid

Dienia montana (Blume) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Lasianthera 1(1): 41 (1996).

Gastroglottis montana Blume, Bijdr. 6: t. 2; 8: 397 (1825). Type: Java, C. Blume s.n. (holo L).

Microstylis bernaysii F.Muell., Fragm. 11: 21 (1878); Liparis bernaysii (F.Muell.) F.M.Bailey, Syn. Queensl. fl. 508 (1883). Type: In montibus pone Trinity-Bay ad truncos arborem emortuos, 1878, F.M. Bailey s.n. (holo MEL).


Occurs in the northern parts of Northern Territory, and in north-eastern Queensland from Cape York to Airlie Beach.

Altitude: 0-1200 m.

Also occurs in New Caledonia, New Guinea and Indonesia.


Terrestrial herb. Rhizome absent. Stems conical, erect, 10-20 cm x 1-2 cm, fleshy, lasting 2 years. Leaves 3-6, scattered along upper half of stem, erect to prostrate, usually sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina ovate to elliptic, 10-30 cm x 5-9 cm, thin-textured, pleated, veins prominent, bright green, margins undulate, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, 15-30 cm tall, wiry, brittle; pedicels including ovary 2-4 mm long, filiform. Flowers numerous, crowded, non-resupinate, porrect, 5-6 mm x 5-6 mm, greenish, brown, reddish or purplish. Sepals and petals shallowly grooved, narrow. Dorsal sepal incurved, linear, 3.5-4 mm x 1-1.2 mm. Lateral sepals incurved over labellum, oblong to ovate, falcate, 3-3.5 mm x 1.3-1.5 mm. Petals linear, falcate, 3.5-4 mm x 0.8 mm, incurved between sepals. Labellum rectangular, 2.2-2.5 mm x 2 mm, with 3 blunt apical teeth, central tooth longest and upcurved; base deeply pouched. Column slender, 1.7 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests and open forests, in wet areas such as sheltered stream banks and swamps. Plants shed their leaves during the dry season and become dormant, with new leaves and flowers emerging in the wet season. The small flowers are variable in colour, and may be self-pollinated or splash-pollinated by raindrops.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: December-April.

Name Changes

Until recently confused with Malaxis latifolia.

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