Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Sarcochilus argochilus

Northern Lawyer Orchid

Sarcochilus argochilus D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Austral. Orch. Rev. 71(2): 21-23, t. (2006). Type: Queensland. Kennedy South, Eungella National Park, 11 Oct. 1989, S. Pearson (D.L.Jones 5252) (holo CANB).


Occurs in Queensland from Mount Windsor Tableland and Mount Lewis to Toowoomba.

Altitude: 400-1000 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb usually consisting of single stiff growth. Stems stiffy porrect, 3-8 cm long, sparsely branched. Leaves 2-8 per stem, scattered along stem, prostrate to pendulous, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina oblong, slightly falcate, 8-15 cm x 3-4 cm, dark green, thin-textured but stiff, margins entire or slightly undulate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 90-140 mm long, arching to pendulous. Flowers 2-12, resupinate, porrect, star-shaped, 18-22 mm x 20-25 mm, bright green to yellowish green with red-brown markings. Sepals and petals widely spreading, more or less spathulate. Dorsal sepal incurved, 10-15 mm x 3-4 mm. Lateral sepals 10-15 mm x 3-4 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals 8-12 mm x 2-3.5 mm. Labellum porrect, 6-8 mm x 4-5 mm, white with a few red-brown markings, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect, flanking column, 4 mm x 1.5 mm, apex curved; midlobe with short oblong tooth, 0.5-0.8 mm long. Column at angle to ovary, 2.5 mm long. Column foot 2.5 mm long, slightly curved, in line with column. Capsules porrect to pendulous, cylindrical, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests and on humid slopes close to streams growing on trees and vines.

Widespread and common.

Flowering period: June-December.


This species has been confused with S. parviflorus in the past, a species which occurs in south-eastern Queensland and New South Wales.

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