685B-2-Microtis-rara-fl-Neil-Blair-RBG.jpg

Microtis rara

Scented Onion-orchid

Slender green perennial herb with round tubers forming sparse colonies or scattered individuals. Flower stem erupts from hollow onion-like leaf.

Additional information

  • SynonymM. oblonga
  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size20-60 cm
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle erect leaf to 60 cm, sheath opening well below flowerhead.
  • Flower colourGreen
  • Flowering timeNovember to December
  • FlowersOpen spike of 5-50 tiny scented flowers; central sepal hooded, tip pointed; lateral sepals short, tightly rolled under; petals spreading beyond sepal. Lip bent to ovary, margins & tip shallowly notched.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist to wet soils in swamps and heathy woodlands. Semi shade to full shade. Fires stimulate flowering.
  • 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 statusScattered throughout the Shire but not common.
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
Photographer/s: 1, 2 Neil Blair, © Royal Botanic Gardens Board; 3 Colin & Mischa Rowan, RetiredAussies ©

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