895B-2-Microtis-atrata-fl-Sue-Guymer.jpg

Microtis atrata

Yellow or Swamp Onion-orchid

Slender yellow-green perennial herb with round tubers forming loose colonies. Stout flower stem erupts from hollow onion-like leaf.

Additional information

  • SynonymMicrotidium atratum
  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size5-12 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle erect yellow-green leaf 10-40 cm long, sheath opening close to flowerhead.
  • Flower colourYellow
  • Flowering timeSeptember to November
  • FlowersCrowded spike of 5-40 tiny, sometimes scented, stalkless flowers (to 2 mm); central sepal hooded; lateral sepals drooping, blunt; petals spreading. Lip elliptic, bent downwards, tip rounded.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsSwampy winter wet soils. Semi shade. The smallest Victorian orchid flower.
  • 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 statusProbably extinct within the Shire due to habitat loss. Last collection in 1932.
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
Photographer/s: 1 Colin Rowan, RetiredAussies ©; 2 Sue Guymer, NatureShare ©; 3 Mischa Rowan RetiredAussies ©

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