506B-2-Microtis-unifolia-fl-Richard-Hartlands.jpg

Microtis unifolia

Common Onion-orchid

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

Additional information

  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size10-80 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle erect leaf to 70 cm, sheath opening well below flowerhead.
  • Flower colourYellow-green
  • Flowering timeNovember to January
  • FlowersCrowded spike of 6-100 tiny flowers; central sepal hooded, partly hiding petals, rounded tip; lateral sepals drooping. Lip bent down to ovary, shallowly notched, margins wavy.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist or dry soils from depressions to slopes of foothills. Full sun, semi shade. Fires stimulate mass 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 statusWidespread within the Shire
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
Photographer/s: 1, 4 Marilyn Bull ©; 2 Richard Hartlands ©; 3 Colin & Mischa Rowan, RetiredAussies ©; 5 Cathy Powers ©

Plant Communities

  • 08 Mountain Grey Gum Damp Forest – Dandenongs (EVC 29)
  • 26 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Middle Yarra (EVC 22)
  • 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)
  • 19 Long-leaf Box Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 33 Mountain Swamp Gum Swampy Riparian Woodland (EVC 83)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
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