Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Oxysepala wadsworthii

Yellow Rope Orchid

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

Bulbophyllum wadsworthii Dockrill, Orchadian 1: 94, f. (1964). Type: Ravenshoe, north Queensland, 10 Oct.1962, K. Wadsworth s.n. (holo BRI).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Big Tableland to Mount Spec.

Altitude: 700-1600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming pendulous clumps. Stems few, sparsely branched, 5-25 cm long, sheathed in brown papery bracts. Pseudobulbs cylindrical, 0.5-0.6 cm x 0.3-0.4 cm wide, partly enclosed by bracts. Leaf solitary on pseudobulb, erect, apical, sessile; lamina elliptic to oblong, 3-6 cm x 0.6-0.8 cm, fleshy, dark green, narrowly and shallowly grooved, apex obtuse. Inflorescence axillary, single-flowered, erect, in groups of 1-3, from perennial meristem at base of pseudobulb, emerging from under bracts. Flowers solitary, resupinate, erect to nodding, star-shaped, 5-6 mm x 5-6 mm, cream or pale green with orange labellum, pedicels concealed by bracts. Sepals and petals fleshy, not opening widely; sepals narrowed into thick points. Dorsal sepal triangular, 5-7 mm x 1.5-2 mm. Lateral sepals triangular, 5-7 mm x 1.5-2 mm, inner margins basally fused, bases fused to column foot. Petals narrowly ovate, 1.5 mm x 0.5 mm, apex obtuse. Labellum 1 mm x 0.7 mm, fleshy, channelled in proximal half, reflexed at right-angles near the middle. Column 1.2 mm long. Column foot curved, 1.2 mm long. Capsules unknown.


Occurs in rainforests growing on the trunks and branches of trees on ridgetops, where there is abundant air movement. It also occurs on tree-fern trunks and remnant trees in cleared paddocks.

Locally common.

Flowering period: September-November.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Bulbophyllum wadsworthii.

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