Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Pomatocalpa macphersonii

Blotched Bladder Orchid

Pomatocalpa macphersonii (F.Muell.) T.E.Hunt, Queensland Naturalist 16: 27 (1958).

Saccolabium macphersonii F.Muell., Fragm. 7: 96 (1870); Cleisostoma macphersonii (F.Muell.) Benth., Fl. Austral. 6: 297 (1873); Sarcochilus macphersonii (F.Muell.) F.Muell., Fragm. 8: 248 (1874); Sarcanthus macphersonii (F.Muell.) Rupp, Victorian Naturalist 57: 219 (1941). Type: Ad sinum Rockinghami, J. Dallachy s.n. (holo MEL; iso K).


Occurs in Queensland from Cape York to Rockhampton.

Altitude: 0-600 m.

Also occurs in New Guinea.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small clumps. Plants usually consisting of single growth with thick cord-like roots. Stem semi-pendulous to pendulous, 5-10 cm long, flattened. Leaves 2-8, crowded along stem, widely spreading, prostrate to pendulous, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem and imbricate; lamina oblong, 15-25 cm x 3-3.5 cm, dark green, thin-textured but stiff, main vein ridged beneath, apex deeply unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, decurved, 15-40 mm long, stiff; pedicels 3-5 mm long. Flowers 3-30, resupinate, porrect to nodding, cupped, not spreading widely, 7-10 mm x 7-10 mm, yellow with red blotches. Sepals and petals incurved. Dorsal sepal oblong to obovate, 3-5 mm x 2.5-3 mm. Lateral sepals free, oblong to obovate, falcate, 3-5 mm x 2.5-3 mm, divergent. Petals 3.5-4.5 mm x 2-2.5 mm. Labellum 3-4 mm x 4-5 mm, white with red blotches, 3-lobed; lateral lobes 0.5 mm x 2 mm, flat, erect; midlobe decurved, fleshy; spur 2 mm long, obtuse, apex enlarged. Column 3 mm long, thicker at the base. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests, especially in lowland rainforests, growing on trees and often seen projecting at right-angles from tree trunks and larger branches.

Locally common.

Flowering period: July-October.

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