Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Pinalia kingii

Common Gremlin Orchid

Pinalia kingii(F.Muell.) Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. 679 (1891).

Eria kingii F.Muell., S. Sci. Rec. 2 (4): 71-2 (1882); Hymeneria kingii (F.Muell.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 501 (2002). Type: In Boneta, one of the Solomon-Islands, Goldfinch s.n. (holo MEL).

Eria moluccana Schltr. & J.J.Sm. in J.J. Smith, Orch. Ambon. 74 (1905). Type: Amboin, R. Schlechter (holo B, iso K).

Eria ambasiensis F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agric. J. 19: 273 (1907). Type: Ambasi, British New Guinea, 1909, Copland King s.n. (holo BRI).

Eria hollandiae J.J.Sm., Bull. Dep. Agric. Ind. neerl. 65: 7 (1911). Type: New Guinea, Biwak Hollandia, 8 Aug. 1910, K. Gjellerup 302 (holo BO?; iso K).

Eria wollastonii Ridl., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 9: 191 (1916). Type: cult. Ashton Wald, Rundle, 17 Oct. 1915, N.C. Roths-child ex New Guinea, Wollaston s.n. (holo K; iso BM).

Eria inornata T.E.Hunt, Orchid J. 1: 190, f. 142 (1952). Type: cult. Brisbane, 14 Nov. 1950, T.E. Hunt 243 ex Queensland (Australia): Cook District, Babinda [Bellenden Ker Range], May 1949, J.H. Wilkie s.n. (holo BRI; iso BRI).

Eria linariiflora Rupp, Austral. Orchid Rev. 18: 67 (1953). Type: cult. Castlecrag, New South Wales, Dec. 1952, N.F. Loader ex Babinda; North Queensland, Aug. 1952, N.F. Loader and J.H. Wilkie s.n. (holo NSW).

Eria liparoides T.E.Hunt, Queensland Naturalist 15: 33-36, f. (1954). Type: cult. Cairns, Oct. 1953 ex North Queensland, Cook District: Garradunga Swamp, Victory Creek, a tributary of the Johnstone, Nov. 1951, S.F. Goessling-St. Cloud s.n. (holo BRI not found).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from Iron Range to Tully.

Altitude: 100-1000 m.

Also occurs in Indonesia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming dense clumps. Pseudobulbs crowded, erect, ovoid to conical, 15-25 cm x 3-5 cm, green, often laterally flattened, fleshy, sheathed in papery bracts. Leaves 3-4 per pseudobulb, erect, apical, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing pseudobulb; lamina elliptic to obovate, 25-35 cm x 3-5 cm, dark green, channelled, stiff, thin-textured, apex acute to unequally emarginate. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, stiffly erect, 100-300 mm long, hairy; pedicels 8 mm long. Flowers 15-50, resupinate, porrect to nodding, cupped, not opening widely, 6-8 mm x 5-7 mm, flower and ovary externally hairy, white or cream. Dorsal sepal hooded, porrect, broadly oblong, 6-7 mm x 3-4 mm, apex obtuse to apiculate. Lateral sepals porrect, triangular, 4.5-5 mm x 4.5-5 mm, bases fused to column foot, apex apiculate. Petals incurved, oblong to ovate, 5-6 mm x 3 mm, apex obtuse. Labellum 5 mm x 4 mm, 3-lobed, with small basal spur; lateral lobes erect; midlobe short, recurved, with prominent ridge. Column 3.5 mm long, dilated in the upper half. Column foot 3.5 mm, curved forward. Capsules erect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests, open forests and mangroves in situations of high humidity and bright light, where plants frequently found growing on branches overhanging watercourses and estuaries.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: August-October.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Eria kingii and Eria inornata.

More about Pinalia