Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids
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Vrydagzynea grayi

Tonsil Orchid

Vrydagzynea grayi D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem., Orchadian 14(8): Suppl. xii (2004). Type: Queensland. Stewart Creek, Portion 24, Parish of Whyanbeel, 1620'S, 14514'E, 20m, 16 July 1983, B. Gray 3162 [R. Collins & D.L. Jones] (holo QRS).

Distribution

Occurs in north-eastern Queensland in the Daintree River region.

Altitude: about 50 m.

Description

Terrestrial herb. Rhizomes creeping, prostrate, cylindrical. Stem erect, apical, 10-15 cm x 0.4-0.5 cm wide, fleshy. Leaves 4-7, scattered along stem, prostrate, forming a loose rosette, petioles 0.3-0.15 cm long, base sheathing stem; lamina elliptic to ovate, 3-6 cm x 2 cm, dark green, thin, glossy, margins undulate. Inflorescence a terminal spike, erect, 50-70 mm long, fleshy. Flowers 5-12, crowded, resupinate, porrect, tubular, 4 mm long, white with green tips. Sepals and petals barely opening. Dorsal sepal ovate, 3 mm x 3 mm, verrucose on exterior surface. Lateral sepals free, porrect, ovate to lanceolate, 3 mm x 1.8 mm. Petals porrect, ovate, 2.2 mm x 1.4 mm. Labellum cordate, 3.5 mm x 2 mm, fleshy, obscurely 3-lobed; lateral lobes incurved, fleshy; midlobe channelled, shortly hairy, emarginate. Spur with 2 globular stalked glands each 1 mm long. Column porrect, 2-2.6 mm long. Capsules erect, ellipsoid, 5 mm long, dehiscent.

Ecology

Recorded from a single locality only, occurring in dense lowland rainforests, growing in well-drained loamy soil and litter on outcrops of decomposed shale.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: September-October.

Notes

The species was collected from a single site in 1983 by Bruce Gray, after whom it is named. This site was cleared in the years between 1983 and the creation of the Daintree National Park in 1988. It has not been recorded at the collection site or any other location since and may now be extinct.

Name Changes

Until recently confused withVrydagzynea paludosa.

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