Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Oxysepala lewisensis

Mount Lewis Rope Orchid

Oxysepala lewisensis (B.Gray & D.L.Jones) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Orchadian 13(11): 500 (2002).

Bulbophyllum lewisense B.Gray & D.L.Jones, Austrobaileya 3(1): 143, f.2, 4D (1989). Type: Queensland. Cook District: S.F.R. 143, South Mary L.A., 1630S, 14515E, 1000 m, 13 Oct 1979, B. Gray 1539 (holo QRS; iso BRI, NSW).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on the higher parts of Mt Lewis, Carbine Tableland and Mount Windsor Tableland.

Altitude: 1000-1250 m.


Epiphytic herb forming sparse semi-pendulous clumps. Stems few, sparsely branched, 6-15 cm long, sheathed in pale brown bracts. Pseudobulbs appressed to stem, ovoid, 0.4-0.5 cm x 0.3-0.35 cm, dark green, without bracts. Leaf solitary on pseudobulb, erect to pendulous, apical, shortly petiolate, base not sheathing pseudobulb; lamina narrowly elliptic to oblong, 1.5-2.2 cm x 0.3-0.5 cm wide, dark green, fleshy, deeply and broadly grooved. Inflorescence axillary, single-flowered, erect, from perennial meristem at base of pseudobulb; pedicels 3.5 mm long, filiform. Flowers resupinate, erect to nodding, tubular, 4-5 mm x 3-4 mm, white. Perianth segments fleshy, not spreading widely; sepals narrowly deltate, apices cymbiform to acuminate. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, 5-6 mm x 1.5-2 mm. Lateral sepals divergent, 5-6 mm x 1.5-2 mm, inner margins basally fused, bases fused to column foot. Petals porrect, narrowly oblong, 2.5 mm x 0.8 mm. Labellum hinged on the apex of the column foot, more or less ovate, 2 mm x 1 mm, fleshy, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect, 1 mm long; midlobe recurved in a semi-circle near the middle, apex obtuse. Column at an acute angle with the ovary, with subulate wings. Column foot at an acute angle with the column, 1.5 mm long, curved. Capsules unknown.


Occurs in rainforests growing on the upper branches of trees where there is unimpeded air movement.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: August to October.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Bulbophyllum lewisense.

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