Nervilia dallachyana (Benth.) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 39: 48 (1907).
Pogonia dallachyana Benth., Fl. Austral. 6: 310 (1873). Type: Rockingham’s Bay, J. Dallachy s.n. (holo MEL).
Altitude: 0-250 m.
May also occur in New Guinea.
Terrestrial herb forming clonal colonies. Sterile plants a solitary leaf only. Fertile plants initially a terminal inflorescence, a single leaf arising later from base of scape. Tubers solitary, fleshy, rounded, 1.5-3 cm wide. Leaf solitary, apical, prostrate, ground-hugging, orbicular, 6-10 cm wide, grey-green and hairy above, hairless and green or purplish beneath, with numerous ridged radiating veins, apex apiculate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, 120-180 mm tall, fleshy; peduncle elongating in fruit. Flowers 1-4, resupinate, porrect, star-shaped, 40-50 mm x 35-45 mm, pink, purple or pale green with white and purple labellum. Sepals and petals widely spreading, linear to narrowly obovate. Dorsal sepal erect, 25-32 mm x 4-5 mm. Lateral sepals free, divergent, 25-32 mm x 5-6 mm. Petals widely spreading, 24-28 mm x 4-5 mm. Labellum 18-23 mm x 15-20 mm, base white, apex purple with darker veins, 3-lobed; lateral lobes incurved; midlobe shallowly notched with broad flat or shallowly ridged hairless plate. Column 10-14 mm long, wider towards the tip. Column foot absent. Capsules pendulous, dehiscent.
Occurs in open forests, rainforest margins and thickets of monsoonal rainforests. Plants from the Northern Territory have a much broader labellum than those from Queensland.
Widespread and common.
Flowering period: November-December.
Until recently confused with Nervilia plicata, which is from India.