Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Oxysepala gadgarrensis

Tangled Rope Orchid

Oxysepala gadgarrensis (Rupp) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Orchadian 13(11): 500 (2002).

Bulbophyllum gadgarrense Rupp, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 60: 59, t. 111, f. 2 (1949). Types: Gadgarra [Reserve], Atherton Tableland, N. Queensland, 27 July 1929, S. Kajewski s.n. (lectotype NSW; isolectotype BRI), fide Clements (1989); Syntypes: Gadgarra [Reserve], Atherton Tableland, N. Queensland, Sep.1945, W.W. Abell s.n. (NSW not found); Mt. Imslay, N. Queensland, Sep.1947, A.E. Johnson s.n. (NSW not found).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland between Big Tableland south of Cooktown and the headwaters of the Tully River.

Altitude: 600-1400 m.


Epiphytic herb forming tangled pendulous clumps. Stems freely branched, pendulous, 10-20 cm long, sheathed in purplish-brown bracts. Pseudobulbs widely spaced, cylindrical, 0.4-0.6 cm x 0.15 cm, covered by bracts. Leaf solitary on pseudobulb, erect to prostrate, apical, petiole 1-3 mm long, base not sheathing pseudobulb; lamina narrowly elliptic to nearly oblong, 1.5-3 cm x 0.3-0.4 cm wide, dark green, thick, fleshy, deeply and broadly grooved. Inflorescence axillary, single-flowered, erect, from perennial meristem at base of pseudobulb; pedicels 1.5 mm long, filiform. Flowers resupinate, porrect to nodding, tubular, 5-6 mm x 4-5 mm, white with orange or yellow tips. Sepals and petals fleshy, not spreading widely. Dorsal sepals narrowly triangular, 5-6 mm x 1.5 mm, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals narrowly triangular, 5-6 mm x 1.5 mm, bases fused to column foot, inner margins basally fused, apex obtuse. Petals narrowly ovate, 2 mm x 0.5 mm, apex obtuse. Labellum unlobed, hinged to the apex of the column foot, oblong-tapered, fleshy, 1 mm x 0.7 mm, recurved at right-angles near the middle; base channelled; apex obtuse. Column at an acute angle to the ovary, 0.6 mm long, with small column wings. Column foot more or less continuous with the column, 0.8 mm long, curved. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests growing on trees in situations of unimpeded air movement. It is also often found on trees growing on ridgetops and on relict trees left in paddocks after clearing.

Locally common.

Flowering period: July to September.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Bulbophyllum gadgarrense.

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