Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Tainia trinervis

Ribbon Orchid

Tainia trinervis (Blume) Rchb.f., Bonplandia 5: 54 (1857).

Mitopetalum trinerve Blume, Mus. Bot. 2: 185 (1856); Mitopetalum parviflorum Blume, Fl. Jav. (new ser.), 1, t.54G (1858), in error. Type: In sylvis Tandite, Korthals s.n. (holo L).

Tainia parviflora Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1: 100 (1912). Type: Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land: In humus in the forests of the Torricelli Range, alt. c. 700 m, Sep. 1909, R. Schlechter 20132 (holo B).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland around Mossman.

Altitude: 0-250 m.

Also occurs in Bougainville, Indonesia, the Moluccas and New Guinea.


Terrestrial herb with clumping habit. Pseudobulbs crowded, erect, conical, 4-7 cm x 0.7-1 cm, dark green, fleshy. Leaf solitary on pseudobulb, erect, apical, petioles 3-5 cm long; lamina ovate, 10-16 cm x 4-6 cm, dark green, smooth, shiny, apex acute. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 200-350 mm long, from apex of new leafless pseudobulb, thin, base swollen. Flowers 3-14, well spaced, resupinate, porrect, 13-18 mm x 20-25 mm, greenish white to yellowish with red to purple central stripes. Sepals and petals widely spreading, narrowly oblong. Dorsal sepal erect, 9-12 mm x 3-4 mm, apex recurved. Lateral sepals free, horizontal, 9-12 mm x 3-4 mm. Petals 9-12 mm x 3-4 mm, projected forward beside column. Labellum decurved, 7-8 mm x 5-6 mm, white or yellow with 2-3 purple ridges, 3-lobed; lateral lobes nearly triangular, erect; midlobe broadly triangular, apex recurved. Column 3-4 mm long, pale green. Column foot 1 mm long, with minute wings near apex. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs in dense lowland rainforests growing in gravelly loam close to streams, but rarely seen.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: September-November.

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