Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Oberonia flavescens

Northern Green Fairy Orchid

Oberonia flavescens D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Austral. Orchid. Res. 5: 10-11, f.1.12, t.1.f (21 Dec. 2006). Type: Cultivated at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 26 Aug. 2005, D.L. Jones 19354 (holo CANB), plant originally collected from Pandanus Creek, McIlwraith Range, Queensland, 23 May 2003, B. Gray 8640 and D.L. Jones.


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Iron Range to Clarke Range near Eungella.

Altitude: 0-900 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming large, erect to porrect clumps. Leaves 4-6, scattered along stem, erect, distichous, alternate, sessile, in fan-like array, bases sheathing stem, imbricate; lamina broadly ensiform, falcate, 8-15 cm x 1.5-2 cm, bright green to yellowish green, fleshy, apex acute. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, arching, 100-200 mm long, base with few small bracts; pedicels 2.5 mm long, including ovary. Flowers numerous, in whorls of 6-8, non-resupinate, porrect, 2.3 mm x 1.5 mm, whitish to yellowish. Sepals and petals usually reflexed against the ovary. Dorsal sepal ovate to deltate, 1.2 mm x 1 mm, apex obtuse. Lateral sepal free, ovate, 1.2 mm x 0.8 mm, irregular, apex apiculate. Petals ovate to lanceolate, 1.2 mm x 0.5 mm, margins irregularly toothed. Labellum broadly triangular, 1.3 mm x 1.5 mm, obscurely 3-lobed, margins densely fringed, apex emarginate. Column porrect from end of ovary, 0.7 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests growing on the upper branches of trees, and in humid areas of open forest, coastal scrub and mangroves. It is also found growing on trees and rocky outcrops in rockpile vegetation.

Locally common.

Flowering period: February to July.

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