Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Oberonia crateriformis

Cratered Fairy Orchid

Oberonia crateriformis D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Austral. Orchid. Res. 5: 9-10, f.1.9, 1.10, t.1.a,b (21 Dec. 2006). Type: Cultivated at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 20 April 1994, D.L. Jones 19353 (holo CANB), plant originally collected from Crediton State Forest, Eugella, Queensland, 14 June 1993, D.L. Jones 11560, C.H. Broers and S. Pearson.


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Mount Misery to Eungella.

Altitude: 0-700 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming erect to porrect clumps. Leaves 4-6, scattered along stem, erect, distichous, alternate, sessile, in fan-like array, bases sheathing stem and imbricate; lamina ensiform, 5-8 cm x 0.4-0.6 cm wide, green to reddish, fleshy, apex acute. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, arching to pendulous, 50-150 mm long; base with whorls of bristle-like bracts; pedicels 1.5 mm long, including ovary. Flowers numerous, in whorls of 8-10, non-resupinate, porrect, 1.7 mm x 1.5 mm, pale red. Sepals and petals widely spreading or reflexed. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, elliptic to obovate, 0.7 mm x 0.5 mm, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals free, reflexed against ovary, ovate, 0.7 mm x 0.6 mm. Petals obliquely erect, elliptic to obovate, 0.7 mm x 0.5 mm. Labellum 0.8 mm x 0.9 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes spreading, broadly obcuneate, entire; midlobe broad, entire or slightly irregular with crater-like pit. Column porrect from end of ovary, 0.4 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsule porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests, riverine forests, sheltered slopes and humid areas in open forests, gorges, coastal scrubs and mangroves, growing on rocks and trees.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: February-June.

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