Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Hymeneria fitzalanii

Common Fuzz Orchid

Hymeneria fitzalanii (F.Muell.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 501 (2002).

Eria fitzalanii F.Muell., S. Sci. Rec. 2: 252-3 (1882). Type: Mulgrave-River, E. Fitzalan s.n. (holo MEL not found); Massey Creek on eastern fall of MacIlwraith Ranges, c. 16 km up stream from the upper crossing on Silver Plains Station, 4 Sep. 1979, J.R. Clarkson 2604 (neotype BRI), fide Clements (1989).

Eria solomonensis Rolfe, Kew Bull. 63 (1909). Type: cult. Kew ex Solomon Islands, C.M. Woodford 11 (holo K).

Eria dolichocarpa Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 9: 105 (1911). Type: Savaii: Am Fuluasoa, 28 July 1906, Vaupel 564 (holo B).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on some Torres Strait islands and on the mainland from Cape York to Townsville.

Altitude: 0-900 m.

Also occurs in New Caledonia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming dense, medium-sized to large clumps. Pseudobulbs crowded, ovoid, 15-20 cm x 3-4 cm, fleshy, sheathed with brown papery bracts. Leaves 3-4 per pseudobulb, erect to arching, apical, distichous, shortly petiolate, bases sheathing pseudobulb; lamina obovate, 20-30 cm x 4-5 cm, dark green, thin-textured, stiff, apex obtuse to acute. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, erect to pendulous, 150-300 mm long, from upper nodes of pseudobulb; pedicels 10 mm long, including ovary. Flowers 5-35, resupinate, porrect to nodding, opening widely, 12-15 mm x 12-15 mm, translucent-cream to creamy yellow. Sepals and petals briefly widely spreading, becoming cupped before closing, thin-textured, externally pubescent. Dorsal sepal incurved, ovate to obovate, 6-8 mm x 3 mm. Lateral sepals spreading widely, triangular, falcate, 6-8 mm x 4 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals obliquely erect, 5-7 mm x 2.5 mm. Labellum 6-8 mm x 4-5 mm, entire or 3-lobed; lateral lobes crescent-shaped; midlobe short, apex truncate, with 3 parallel ridges. Column 3 mm long. Column foot 4.5 mm, almost at right-angles to column. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforest margins, open forests and woodlands in humid conditions, growing on rocks and tree trunks and on the branches of trees along stream banks. It is often found growing on the roughened surface of Pandanus species. Its flowers are fragrant.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: August-October.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Eria fitzalanii.

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