Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Fruticicola radicans

Striped Pyjama Orchid

Fruticicola radicans (F.M.Bailey) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 499 (2002).

Bulbophyllum radicans F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agric. J. 1: 81 (1897). Type: Range near Cairns, 1897, L.J. Nugent 116 (holo BRI; iso K).

Bulbophyllum cilioglossum R.S.Rogers & Nicholls, Trans. & Proc. Roy. Soc. South Australia 59: 204, f. 1 (1935). Type: cult. Melbourne, Mar. 1934 ex North Queensland, Mount Fox, A. Glindeman s.n. (holo AD).


Widely distributed in north-eastern Queensland between Mount Finnigan and Eungella.

Altitude: 5-1200 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming pendulous clumps. Stems few to many, pendulous, 10-40 cm x 0.4 cm, rooting at the base, clothed in brown bracts, apex upcurved. Pseudobulbs appressed to the stem, more or less alternate, cylindrical, 1-1.5 cm x 0.2-0.3 cm wide, partially hidden by bracts. Leaf terminal on pseudobulb, erect to pendulous, apical, sessile, base not sheathing pseudobulb; lamina ovate to elliptic, 4-8 cm x 1-1.8 cm, often curved, thin-textured but tough, sometimes fleshy, shallowly channelled, apex unequally emarginate, often decurved. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, single-flowered, 6-10 mm long, from pseudobulb base; pedicels filiform. Flower solitary, resupinate, porrect to semi-nodding, 3-4 mm x 4-5 mm, pink, cream or yellow with red or purple stripes (rarely unstriped) and a red and yellow labellum. Perianth segments not spreading widely. Dorsal sepal porrect, hooded, ovate, 4-5 mm x 1.5-2 mm, apex acuminate. Lateral sepals broadly triangular, 4-5 mm x 2-2.5 mm, bases fused to column foot, apex acuminate. Petals porrect to incurved, ovate to oblong, 2 mm x 1 mm. Labellum hinged on the apex of the column foot, oblong to obovate, 3 mm x 1 mm, fleshy, channelled, curved, 3-lobed; undersurface covered with numerous fine wavy hairs. Column porrect from end of ovary, 1 mm long. Column foot at right-angles to the column, 2 mm long, apex incurved. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests, especially in cool gullies, and near streams and waterfalls, growing on trees and rocks. It extends from near sea level to high in the ranges and tablelands. Each flower lasts 1-2 days.

Flowering period: Sporadic throughout the year.


Plants from around Eungella have shorter fleshier leaves than those from areas further north.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Bulbophyllum radicans.

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