Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Eleutheroglossum fellowsii

Native Damsel Orchid

Eleutheroglossum fellowsii (F.Muell.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 489 (2002).

Dendrobium fellowsii F.Muell., Fragm. 7: 63 (1870). Type: Ad sinum Rockingham Bay, Sep., J. Dallachy s.n. (holo MEL).

Dendrobium bairdianum F.M.Bailey, Syn. Queensl. fl. (Nov. 1884) & Syn. Queensl. fl. Suppl. 1: 53 (1886); Callista bairdiana (F.M.Bailey) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. 2: 654 (1891); Sayeria bairdiana (F.M.Bailey) Rauschert, Feddes Repert. 94(7-8): 447 (1987). Type: Between Herberton and Mourilyan Harbour, J.W.R. Stuart s.n. (holo BRI).

Dendrobium giddinsii T.E.Hunt, North Queensland Naturalist 15(87): 25 (1948).Type: Hartley Creek, Apr. 1947, R. Giddins s.n. (holo BRI).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Mount Finnigan near Cooktown to Townsville.

Altitude: 600-1200 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small clumps. Pseudobulbs erect, cylindrical or middle slightly swollen, 5-25 cm x 0.6-1 cm, dark purplish brown, hard, covered in papery bracts when young, becoming furrowed with age. Leaves 2-5, erect, apical, distichous, sessile, bases sheathing pseudobulb; lamina narrowly ovate, 5-10 cm x 1.5-2 cm, dark green, apex unequally acuminate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, erect to arching, 40-80 mm long, from upper nodes of pseudobulb; pedicels 10-20 mm long. Flowers 2-7, resupinate, porrect, star-shaped, 15-20 mm x 20-25 mm, pale green or yellowish with deep purple labellum. Sepals and petals widely spreading, moderately thick-textured. Dorsal sepal projecting forwards, ovate, 6-10 mm x 5 mm, apex acute. Lateral sepals widely divergent, triangular, 8-12 mm x 5 mm, bases fused to column foot, apex acute. Petals narrowly ovate, 5-8 mm x 3 mm, apex acute to acuminate. Labellum curved, 10 mm x 7 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes large, erect, triangular; midlobe broad, with 2 parallel ridges, margins erect, flanking column, apex deeply emarginate. Column 3 mm long. Column foot curved, 7-8 mm long. Capsules pendulous, dehiscent.


Occurs in open forests growing on shrubs and trees with rough-textured or papery bark. It is often found in shrubby vegetation in wet drainage areas such as stream beds, springs, seepage areas, deep gullies and around the margins of large granite sheets.


Flowering period: October-January.

Name Changes

Until recently well known as Dendrobium bairdianum.

More about Eleutheroglossum