Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Sarcochilus serrulatus

Banded Butterfly Orchid

Sarcochilus serrulatus D.L.Jones, Victorian Naturalist 89: 344, f. 1 (1972). Type: East Evelyn Tableland, North Queensland, at 980 metres, 31 July 1972, D.L. Jones, B. Gray and R. Collins s.n. (holo MEL; iso BRI, MEL).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland from the Mount Windsor Tableland to the Evelyn Tableland.

Altitude: 900-1600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming small clumps. Plants usually consisting of a single semi-pendulous growth. Stem porrect to pendulous, 1-2 cm long. Leaves 3-6, crowded, scattered along stem, prostrate to pendulous, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem, imbricate; lamina oblong, falcate, 5-10 cm x 2 cm, mid green to dark green, margins undulate, finely serrulate, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 20-40 mm long, club-shaped, fleshy; pedicels 4-5 mm long. Flowers 2-10, resupinate, porrect, 14-18 mm x 12-15 mm, reddish brown with white and yellow bands on labellum. Sepals and petals widely spreading, bases narrowed. Dorsal sepal almost circular, 5-6 mm x 5-6 mm. Lateral sepals broadly obovate, 5-7 mm x 3-4 mm, bases fused to column foot. Petals spathulate, almost circular, 5-6 mm x 2-3 mm. Labellum projected forward, 4 mm x 4 mm, white with reddish brown and yellow markings; lateral lobes erect, 4 mm x 2 mm, incurved; midlobe 1 mm long, fleshy, shallowly emarginate; spur 3 mm long, obtuse. Column 2 mm long. Column foot 2.5 mm long, at right-angles to column. Capsules porrect to pendulous, dehiscent.


Occurs in dense highland rainforests, in thick vegetation on slopes above streams and on shrubs and trees beside small streams.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: August-January.

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