Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Sarcocadetia wariana

Creeping Moss Orchid

Sarcocadetia wariana (Schltr.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 13(11): 490 (2002).

Cadetia wariana Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1: 426 (1912). Type: Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land: On trees in the mountain forests at Jaduna on the Waria River, Apr. 1909, R. Schlechter 19342 (syn B; lectotype K; isolecto AMES, BO, G, L, MO, NSW, PR, S), fide Clements (1989); Syntype: Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land: On trees and on rocks on [Mount] Mimi in the Waria Valley, Mar. 1908, R. Schlechter 17838 (B).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on some Torres Strait islands and on McIlwraith Range.

Altitude: 50-400 m.

Also occurs in New Guinea.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming dense mats. Stems creeping, appressed to host, branched, thin, with short internodes. Pseudobulbs crowded, obliquely erect, ovoid or cylindrical, 0.5-1 cm x 0.3-0.35 cm, greyish green, shallowly grooved, shiny, fleshy. Leaf solitary on pseudobulb, erect, apical, shortly petiolate; lamina ovate, 0.8-1.5 cm x 0.4-0.5 cm wide, dark green, fleshy, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence single-flowered, arising from meristem at leaf base; pedicels 5 mm long, including ovary. Flowers resupinate, porrect, star-shaped, 4-5 mm x 4-5 mm, white, labellum and column with yellow or orange tip. Sepals and petals spreading widely. Dorsal sepal broadly ovate to oblong, 3 mm x 2 mm, apex obtuse. Lateral sepals oblong, 3 mm x 2 mm, inner margins basally fused, bases fused to column foot, apex obtuse. Petals narrowly oblong, 3 mm x 0.7 mm apex acute. Labellum 5 mm x 1.3 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes rudimentary, bases fused to column foot; midlobe thickened, covered in short hairs. Column 1.75 mm long. Column foot 1.5 mm long, in line with column. Capsules nodding, dehiscent.


Occurs on rainforest edges, growing on trees close to watercourses and on humid slopes. It often forms dense mats on rocks and rough-barked trees.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: April-October.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Cadetia wariana.

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