Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Robiquetia wassellii

Green Pouched Orchid

Robiquetia wassellii Dockrill, Austral. Sarcanth. 7, t. 19 (1967). Type: cult. Melbourne Bot. Gdns, ex Central Cape York Peninsula, Rocky River, McIlwraith Range, 22 June 1958, J.L. Wassell s.n. (holo MEL).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on Iron Range and McIlwraith Range.

Altitude: 200-600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming straggly clumps. Plants usually consisting of single main growth, sometimes forming sparse clumps with thick roots. Stems pendulous, 10-50 cm long, apex upcurved. Leaves 3-6 per stem, crowded, prostrate to pendulous, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem, imbricate; lamina narrowly oblong, 8-14 cm long, up to 3 cm wide, dark green, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, stiffly decurved, 10-15 cm long. Flowers numerous, crowded, resupinate, porrect, narrow, cupped, 12-14 mm x 4-6 mm, dark green with pink to red central areas and white to yellowish labellum spur. Sepals and petals not spreading widely, apices obtuse. Dorsal sepal narrowly obovate, 6 mm x 3.5 mm. Lateral sepals obovate, 5 mm x 3.8 mm. Petals elliptical, 5.5 mm x 3.5 mm. Labellum 5.5 mm x 3.5 mm, obscurely 3-lobed; basin-shaped with projecting beak-like apex; spur prominent, decurved, 12 mm long, distally bulbous, containing nectar. Column 3 mm long, projecting forward above spur opening. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests on slopes and humid gullies growing on trees, shrubs and boulders.

Locally common.

Flowering period: June-August.

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