Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Drymoanthus minutus

Green Midget Orchid

Drymoanthus minutus Nicholls, Victorian Naturalist 59: 175, f. (1943). Type: cult. Melbourne, Dec. 1935, W.H. Nicholls ex Queensland (North), Mt. Fox (via Ingham), 1934, A. Glindeman s.n. (holo MEL).


Occurs in Queensland from Cairns to Townsville.

Altitude: 100-850 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small clumps. Roots numerous, relatively thick. Stems erect, 2-4 cm long, thin. Leaves 2-5, scattered along stem, crowded, in a fan-like array prostrate, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem, imbricate; lamina oblong to elliptic, falcate, 3-5 cm x 0.6-1 cm, dark green, leathery, apex acute. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 10-25 mm long, stiff. Flowers minute, 1-7, resupinate, porrect, star-shaped, 2.5-3 mm x 2-2.5 mm, green to yellowish with white labellum. Sepals and petals spreading fairly widely, narrowly lanceolate, fleshy. Dorsal sepal incurved, 2.5 mm x 0.8 mm. Lateral sepals porrect, 2.5 mm x 0.8 mm. Petals incurved, 2.3 mm x 0.3 mm, apex acute. Labellum unlobed, 2 mm x 1 mm, fleshy, channelled, lacking lateral lobes, callus and spur. Column porrect from end of ovary, 1 mm long, dilated toward apex. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs along watercourses in rainforests, growing on trees and bottlebrushes (Callistemon spp.) as a twig epiphyte. Although present at lower altitudes, it is most common on ranges and tablelands. The plants are able to flower when they are very small and on warm days the tiny flowers are pleasantly fragrant.

Locally common.

Flowering period: December-February.

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