Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids
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Trachoma stellatum

Starry Spectral Orchid

Trachoma stellatum M.A.Clem., D.L.Jones, B.Gray & J.J.Wood, Austral. Orch. Res. 1: 146 (1989); Tuberolabium stellatum (M.A.Clem., D.L.Jones, B.Gray & J.J.Wood) J.J.Wood, Nordic J. Bot. 10(5): 482 (1990). Type: cult. ANBG, 8 Apr.1986, M.A. Clements 4038 ex Queensland, Cook District, Upper Massey Creek, 1350S, 14323E, B.J. Wallace s.n. (holo CANB).

Distribution

Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on the Iron Range and McIlwraith Range.

Altitude: 400-600 m.

Description

Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming projecting or pendulous clumps. Roots numerous, thick. Stems porrect to pendulous, 3-6 cm long, sparsely branched. Leaves 3-8, scattered along stem, crowded, pendulous, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina oblong, 5-8 cm x 2 cm, pale green to yellow-green, thick, leathery, channelled, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 10-35 mm long, rachis club-shaped, bearing up to 10 flowers at once. Flowers numerous, resupinate, erect to porrect, 8-9 mm x 4-5 mm, short-lived, cream with purple markings, labellum tip yellow. Sepals and petals moderately spreading. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, oblong to lanceolate, 5 mm x 1.5 mm, apex acuminate. Lateral sepals free, elliptic, 4.5 mm x 1.5 mm. Petals narrowly ovate, 5 mm x 1.5 mm. Labellum projected forwards, 5 mm x 3.5 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes short, more or less triangular, fleshy, erect to outcurved; midlobe 1 mm long, fleshy, with decurved spur 1.5 mm long. Column porrect, 2 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.

Ecology

Occurs along rainforest margins growing on trees and on isolated trees in open humid areas adjacent to patches of rainforest.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: March-July.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Tuberolabium stellatum.

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