Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Micropera fasciculata

Pale Dismal Orchid

Micropera fasciculata (Lindl.) Garay, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 23 (4): 186 (1972).

Saccolabium fasciculatum Lindl., London J. Bot. 2: 238 (1843). Type: New Guinea, Hind s.n. (lectotype flowers in a packet K-LINDL), fide Clements (1989).

Cleisostoma keffordii F.M.Bailey, Rep. Queensland Accli. Soc. 9 (1884); Camarotis keffordii (F.M.Bailey) J.J.Sm., Natuurk. Tijdschr. Ned.-Indie 72: 97 (1913). Type: Johnstone River, W.R. Keffordii s.n. (holo BRI).

Saccolabium coplandii F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agric. J. 19: 274 (1907). Type: Ambasi, Brit. New Guinea, Copland King 2 (holo BRI).

Sarcanthus papuanus J.J.Sm., Bull. Dep. Agric. Indes Neerl. 39: 19-20 (1910); Camarotis papuana (J.J.Sm.) J.J.Sm., Natuurk. tijdschr. Ned.-Indie. 72: 98 (1912). Type: An dem Noord-Fluss, auf Baumen in Sumpfen, von Romer 200 (holo ?BO).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Cape York to near Townsville.

Altitude: 0-500 m.

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


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming large straggling clumps. Stems erect or semi-pendulous, 30-120 cm long, sparsely branched, wiry, lower half usually leafless. Leaves 5-20, scattered along upper half of stem, widely spaced, prostrate, distichous, sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina oblong, 8-15 cm x 2-3 cm, often yellowish green, stiff, leathery, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, erect, 150-250 mm long, emerging opposite a leaf, slender, stiff. Flowers 10-20, non-resupinate, erect to porrect, 27-30 mm x 12-15 mm, cream, darker with age, fragrant, lasting 5-7 days. Sepals and petals flat, spreading. Dorsal sepal stiffly erect, narrowly obovate, 9 mm x 3 mm. Lateral sepals reflexed behind labellum, smaller than dorsal sepal, oblong, 7 mm x 3.5 mm, bases fused to underside of labellum and column foot. Petals spreading widely, narrowly oblong, c. 7 mm x 2.5 mm. Labellum erect, 9 mm x 2.5 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect or incurved, triangular, 2 mm x 4 mm, joined to base of column; midlobe curved, 3 mm long, apex acuminate; with deeply saccate spur. Column porrect from end of ovary, 4 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs in lowland rainforests growing in bright light and forming large clumps on trees and rocks.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: March-June.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Camarotis keffordii.

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