Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Sarcochilus hirticalcar

Harlequin Orchid

Sarcochilus hirticalcar (Dockrill) M.A.Clem. & B.J.Wallace, Austral. Orch. Res. 1: 133 (1989).

Parasarcochilus hirticalcar Dockrill, Austral. Sarcanth. 23, t. 40 (1967); Pteroceras hirticalcar (Dockrill) Garay, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 23(4): 193 (1972). Type: McIlwraith Range, Cape York Peninsula, 28 Nov. 1966, M. Brown s.n. (holo BRI).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on the McIlwraith Range.

Altitude: 300-600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small clumps. Plants usually consisting of single semi-pendulous growth. Stems porrect to pendulous, 2-10 cm long, sparsely branched. Leaves 4-8 per stem, scattered along stem, prostrate to pendulous, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina linear, falcate, 5-12 cm x 1-1.5 cm, bright green, thin-textured, apex acute to unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, pendulous, 12-60 mm long, fleshy. Flowers 2-12, resupinate, porrect, 7-8 mm x 10-12 mm, cream to bright yellow with prominent purplish brown to reddish brown bands. Sepals and petals widely spreading, narrow, apices obtuse. Dorsal sepal incurved, oblong to ovate, 4-5 mm x 3 mm. Lateral sepals horizontal, 4-5 mm x 3 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals obliquely erect, 3 mm x 2 mm. Labellum prominent, projected forward, 7 mm x 5 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect, 4 mm x 1.5 mm, incurved; midlobe erect, 0.5 mm long; spur projected forwards, flattened, oblong, 5 mm long. Column porrect, 2 mm long, dilated near middle. Column foot 3 mm long, at right-angles to column. Capsules porrect to pendulous, dehiscent.


Occurs in rainforests and riverine vegetation, and is often found growing on Red Beech (Dillenia alata). Only 1-3 flowers are open at a time and the inflorescence elongates and produces flowers sporadically over a period. The flowers are attractively marked.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: November-December.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Parasarcochilus hirticalcar.

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