Calochilus robertsonii

Purplish Beard-orchid

Perennial herb with egg-shaped tubers. Stout, fleshy green stem with 1-2 bracts. Occurs as scattered individuals.

Additional information

  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size15-45 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle folded, erect, ribbed, dark green leaf with reddish base, to 40 cm x 10 mm .
  • Flower colourGreen with purple stripes
  • Flowering timeAugust to October
  • Flowers2-9 flowers to 30 mm; central sepal broad, hooded; lateral sepals spreading, narrowing to points; petals short, wide, erect. Lip curved down, short purple glands at base, centre covered with long dense reddish hairs, tail hairs paler, tip bare.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsDryish well drained soils in open forests and heathy woodlands. Semi shade. Flowers open widest on warm sunny days.
  • Garden useUse of orchids in gardens is not recommended, unless they already occur naturally, in which case they need to be protected. Removing orchids from the bush usually results in their death and further depletes remaining wild orchid populations.
  • Commercially availableNever
  • Conservation statusLocally common within its preferred growing conditions.
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
  • Related speciesCalochilus imberbis may occur within the Shire. It has limited distribution but occurs with C. robertsonii and may be just a specialised form. It is similar but lacks any beard. It grows in drier forests and woodlands.
Photographer/s: 1 Robyn Dobson ©; 2 Cathy Powers NatureShare ©

Plant Communities

  • 17 Messmate Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 27 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 22)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
  • 30 Swamp Gum Swampy Riparian Woodland (EVC 83)
  • 21 Broad-leaf Peppermint Heathy Dry Forest (EVC 20)
  • 32 Silvertop Ash Shrubby Foothill Forest (EVC 45)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
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