Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids
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Oberonia rimachila

Chanelled Fairy Orchid

Oberonia rimachila D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Austral. Orchid. Res. 5: 11, f.1.13, 1.14, t. 1c,d (21 Dec. 2006). Type: Queensland. Cook District: Tozer Range, mile east of Mt Tozer, 1 July 1948, Brass 19394 (holo CANB 186351; iso BRI 80746).

Distribution

Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Tozer Range to Palmerston.

Altitude: 50-600 m.

Description

Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming erect clumps. Leaves 5-7, scattered along stem, erect, distichous, alternate, sessile, in fan-like array, bases sheathing stem and imbricate; lamina ensiform, falcate, 5-7 cm x 0.5-0.8 cm wide, green to reddish, fleshy, apex apiculate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, arching to pendulous, 50-140 mm long, with whorls of bristle-like bracts at base; pedicels 2.5 mm long, including ovary. Flowers numerous, in whorls of 8-10, non-resupinate, porrect, 1.6 mm x 1.4 mm, translucent to pinkish with red labellum. Sepals and petals spreading or reflexed. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, elliptic to ovate, 0.8 mm x 0.6 mm, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals reflexed against ovary, ovate, 0.8 mm x 0.6 mm, apex apiculate. Petals appressed to dorsal sepal, 0.8 mm x 0.5 mm, margins irregular. Labellum 1 mm x 1 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes spreading, entire; midlobe broad, entire or slightly irregular with narrow slit-like pit. Column porrect from end of ovary, 0.5 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsule porrect, dehiscent.

Ecology

Occurs in rainforests growing on rocks and trees, on sheltered slopes near streams, and in humid areas in open forests, coastal scrub and mangroves.

Locally common.

Flowering period: February-June.

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