Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Grastidium baileyi

Blotched Gemini Orchid

Grastidium baileyi (F.Muell.) Rauschert, Feddes Repert. 94(7–8): 447 (1983).

Dendrobium baileyi F.Muell., Fragm. 8: 173-4 (1874); Callista baileyi (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. 2: 654 (1891). Type: In silvis montium altorum pone Rockingham’s Bay, F.M.Bailey s.n. (holo MEL).

Dendrobium keffordii F.M.Bailey, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 1: 2 (1884). Type: Queensland, Johnstone River, W.R. Kefford s.n. (holo BRI not found); cult. Bowen Park, 4 Jan. 1887, F. M. Bailey s.n. (neotype BRI), fide Clements (1989).


Occurs in north-east Queensland from McIlwraith Range to Townsville.

Altitude: 5-900 m.

Also occurs in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small clumps. Stems crowded, erect to pendulous, flattened, 30-120 cm x 0.3 cm, wiry. Leaves scattered along stem, erect to prostrate, distichous, sessile, bases sheathing stem and covering node; lamina narrowly ovate, narrowly lanceolate or narrowly oblong, 6-9 cm x 0.8 cm, dark green, apex acuminate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 13-16 mm long, emerging opposite a leaf; pedicels 7-8 mm long. Flowers 1-2, resupinate, porrect to nodding, spider-shaped, 20-30 mm x 20-30 mm, yellowish green, densely spotted and blotched with dark purple. Sepals and petals narrow, filiform, spreading widely for a few hours only, becoming tangled as flowers age. Dorsal sepal erect, 25-30 mm x 4 mm. Lateral sepals widely divergent, 25-30 mm x 4 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals linear, 20-25 mm x 1 mm. Labellum curved, 10 mm x 6 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes usually reddish; midlobe with single central ridge, margins denticulate, apex cuspidate. Column 3 mm long. Column foot 4.5 mm long, at right-angles to the column. Capsules pendulous, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests in humid sheltered situations growing on trees. It has also been observed growing in sand at the base of a tree. The flowers usually last less than a day and are insect-pollinated.

Locally common.

Flowering period: January-February.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Dendrobium baileyi.

More about Grastidium