Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Hetaeria oblongifolia

Hairy Jewel Orchid

Hetaeria oblongifolia Blume, Bijdr. 410, t. 14 (Sep.-Dec.1825) (sic Etaeria); Fl. Javae 1: praef. vii: 102, t. 32 (1858), nom. et orth. cons.; Aetheria oblongifolia (Blume) Lindl., Gen. sp. orchid. pl. 491 (1840). Type: Java, Tjangor, C. Blume s.n. (holo L).

Etaeria rubicunda Rchb.f., Bonplandia 3: 214 (1855). Type: Samoa, Tutuila, Wilkes s.n. (holo W1746).

Rhamphidia tenuis Lindl., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 1: 182 (1857); Etaeria tenuis (Lindl.) Benth., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 18: 345 (1880); Hetaeria tenuis (Lindl.) Bailey, Syn. Queensl. fl. 522 (1883). Type: Ins. Philippinae, Cuming s.n. (holo K-LINDL).

Rhamphidia rubicunda (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f. in Seemann, Fl. Vitiensis 294 (1865). Type: Fiji, Viti Levu, Graeffe 33 (holo W 1748; iso BM).

Hetaeria helferi Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 6: 115 (1890). Type: Island in the Andaman Sea, Helfer 464 (holo K).

Goodyera erimae Schltr. in K. Schum. & Laut., Fl. Schutzgeb. Sudsee, Nachtrage 93 (1905); Hetaeria erimae (Schltr.) Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 9: 88 (1910). Type: Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land: In humus in the forests near Erimahafen, alt. c. 20 m, Oct. 1901, R. Schlechter 13676 (holo B).

Hetaeria similisSchltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 9: 88 (1910). Type: Samoa, Manono, 23 Aug. 1905, F. Vaupel 657 (holo B; iso K).

Hetaeria pauciseta J.J.Sm., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 11: 134 (1912). Type: New Guinea, Gjellerup 736 (holo B).

Hetaeria raymundii Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 56: 453 (1921). Type: Palau Island: Koror, Raymund s.n. (holo B).


Occurs in Queensland from Iron Range to Rockhampton.

Altitude: 50-400 m.

Also occurs in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, and Vanuatu.


Terrestrial herb forming loose colonies. Roots from rhizome nodes, covered in fine root-hairs. Rhizome cylindrical, prostrate, sparsely branching. Stem erect, 10-50 cm long, 3-4 mm wide, fleshy. Leaves 4-8, scattered along stem, prostrate, forming a loose central rosette, petioles 1 cm long, bases sheathing stem; lamina ovate to obovate, 5-8 cm x 2.5-3.5 cm, dark green, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal spike, 15-30 cm long, hairy. Flowers 15-45, at right-angles to ovary, non-resupinate, porrect, tubular, 4-4.5 mm x 6-7 mm, green and white, externally hairy. Sepals and petals not opening widely. Dorsal sepal obliquely deflexed, ovate, 3-3.5 mm x 2.5 mm. Lateral sepals free, porrect, hooding the labellum, 3.5-4 mm x 2 mm, apex obtuse. Petals porrect, 3 mm x 1 mm, apex thickened, upcurved. Labellum unlobed, 3.5 mm x 2.5 mm, white with translucent hairy apex and adjacent yellow patch; margins inrolled; base deeply pouched, with 12 small glands in 2 groups. Column 3 mm long; wings large, incurved. Column foot absent. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests growing on sheltered slopes and near streams. The upper leaves remain green throughout flowering, but the lower leaves usually wither earlier.


Flowering period: July-October.

More about Hetaeria