Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Phoringopsis lavarackiana

Glaucous Truffle Orchid

Phoringopsis lavarackiana D.L.Jones, Orchadian 14(8): Suppl. xi (2004). Type: Queensland. Cultivated Australian National Botanic Gardens, 16 May 1990, ex Moa Island, c. 1 km NE of airport, Kubin, D.L. Jones 6006 (CBG 9010305) (holo CANB).


Occurs in far north-eastern Queensland on Moa Island in Torres Strait, and from Cape York to Shelburn Bay.

Altitude: 0-100 m.

Also occurs in New Guinea.


Terrestrial herb forming loose colonies. Tuber solitary, ovoid, fleshy. Leaves 1-2, usually 1 larger than the other, erect, basal, distichous, sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina linear to lanceolate, 5-20 cm x 0.5-1.5 cm, bluish green, apex acute. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, erect, 100-300 mm long; pedicels 2-4 mm long, thin. Flowers 3-15, widely spaced, resupinate, erect, 14-16 mm long, greenish with some red in labellum. Dorsal sepal linear to spathulate, 8-9 mm x 1.5-2 mm, incurved close to column, margins incurved. Lateral sepals free, sharply deflexed, linear to oblong, 6-7 mm x 1 mm, apex acute. Petals sharply reflexed, linear, falcate, 7-8 mm x 0.5 mm, apex obtuse or toothed. Labellum free, strongly fungiform, 6-7 mm x 2.3 mm, hinged to column foot by a claw 0.1 mm long; lamina ovate to oblong, 6-7 mm long, 2-2.3 mm wide, apex recurved, emarginate. Callus 2.5 mm long and 1.5 mm high, mop-like, densely covered with spiky bristles to 0.75 mm long, with strap-like head 3 mm long. Column 7-8 mm long, incurved into a semi-circle; with 2 proximal wings, porrect, spreading, oblong, falcate, 2.5 mm x 1 mm; 2 distal wings, erect, linear, 1.5 mm x 0.3 mm, projecting above the anther. Column foot 2 mm long, dilated at tip, at right-angles to column. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in coastal and near-coastal forests and 'Epacrid Scrub', where it forms loose colonies, growing in well-drained sandy and gravelly soil.

Locally common.

Flowering period: January-August.

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