Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Salacistis ochroleuca

Giant Jewel Orchid

Salacistis ochroleuca (F.M.Bailey) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 14(8): Suppl. xv (2004).

Goodyera ochroleuca F.M.Bailey, Bull. Dept. Agric. Queensland 14: 15. f. (1902). Type: cultivated Brisbane Botanic Gardens, 1896 ex New Guinea, W. MacGregor s.n. (holo BRI).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on the Atherton Tableland.

Altitude: 600-800 m.


Terrestrial herb forming loose colonies. Stems erect, 20-50 cm x 0.5-0.8 cm, fleshy. Leaves 3-6, scattered along the stem, prostrate to pendulous, forming a loose apical rosette, petioles 3-6 cm long, channelled, bases sheathing stem; lamina asymmetric, ovate, 6-12 cm x 3-5 cm, dark green, sometimes with reddish tinge, thin-textured, apex acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal spike, 20-35 cm long, brittle; ovaries elongate, erect, pubescent. Flowers 10-20, resupinate, porrect, 6-8 mm x 7-10 mm, dull pink and white, externally hairy. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, hooded, forming galea with petals, 8-10 mm x 3 mm. Lateral sepals free, divergent, obliquely erect, ovate, 8-10 mm x 4-4.5 mm, curved. Petals linear to lanceolate, 7-8 mm x 3 mm, nearly translucent. Labellum unlobed, erect, 7-9 mm x 6-7 mm, white or cream, with recurved apex; inner surface with inward-pointing hairs. Column 5 mm long, slightly curved. Column foot absent. Capsules erect, pubescent, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests growing in sheltered locations, often on slopes near streams in loose friable soil.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: September-October.

Name Changes

Until recently confused with Goodyera rubicunda.

More about Salacistis