Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Kaurorchis evasa

Creeping Brittle Orchid

Kaurorchis evasa (T.E.Hunt & Rupp) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 499 (2002).

Bulbophyllum evasumHunt & Rupp, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 60: 58, t. 111, f. 1 (1949). Type: Zarda, Root’s Creek track, Mt. Spurgeon via Cairns, North Queensland, 5 Jan. 1936, H. Flecker s.n. (holo NSW).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on mountain peaks and higher parts of the tablelands between Mount Finnigan and Mount Spec.

Altitude: 1000-1600 m.


Epiphytic herb forming long slender strands, sometimes branching and interlacing. Rhizomes long, creeping, appressed to host, 4 mm wide, very brittle, covered with appressed brown bracts. Pseudobulbs inconspicuous, widely spaced, cylindrical, appressed to rhizome, 0.5-0.7 cm x 0.3-0.4 cm wide, covered by sheathing bracts. Leaf solitary, terminal on pseudobulb, erect to prostrate, subsessile; lamina broadly ovate to broadly elliptic, 25-35 mm x 15-30 mm, dark green, fleshy, apex emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary capitulum, erect, 60-100 mm long, from rhizome nodes, widening near the apex, dark red. Flowers 10-25, resupinate, erect, campanulate, 3-3.5 mm x 3 mm, short dense head, not opening widely, pink to reddish with conspicuous dark red stripes and yellow tips. Dorsal sepal porrect, hooded, ovate, 3-3.5 mm x 1.5-1.8 mm. Lateral sepals slightly divergent, porrect, 3-3.5 mm x 1.7-2 mm, inner margins basally fused, bases fused to column foot. Petals porrect to incurved, obovate, 2.5-3 mm x 1 mm. Labellum porrect, hinged to the apex of the column foot, obscurely 3-lobed, narrowly cordate to cuneate, 1.3-1.5 mm x 1 mm, fleshy, deeply channelled, the ventral surface densely papillate. Callus consisting of 2 convergent ridges. Column at an angle to the ovary, 0.8 mm x 0.8 mm, with prominent apical stelidia. Column foot at right-angles to the ovary, 1 mm long, straight. Capsules unknown.


Grows on the trunks and branches of trees in montane rainforests and mist forests, and can be found on mossy boulders and rocks.

Flowering period: Mainly August-December but also sporadic.


The rhizomes of this species are extremely brittle. The small pseudobulbs are generally hidden by bracts.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Bulbophyllum evasum.

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