Prasophyllum australe

Austral Leek-orchid

Slender erect perennial herb growing from a fleshy tuber, new tubers produced at a distance. Stout green stem. Flowers upside down with lip (labellum) on top.

Additional information

  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size25-90 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle slender to stout erect leaf with reddish base, round in cross section, to 30 cm long, not sheathed.
  • Flower colourLemon-green with reddish stripes
  • Flowering timeOctober to January
  • FlowersDense crowded spike 6-20 cm long of 10-60 fragrant open flowers to 15 mm across, ovary gradually narrowing. Central sepal pointed, curved down, lateral sepals joined, erect. White wavy lip bent back.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist to wet soils in swamps and moist heathy woodland. Semi shade. Flowers better after fire.
  • 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 statusUnknown status. Known from past records but may be extinct. May not have been collected recently.
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
  • Related speciesSimilar to Corunastylis. Distinguish by the claw-less labellum and the leaf sheath which opens well below the flower spike rather than just below it. Flowering is spring rather than summer/autumn.
Photographer/s: 1, 2 Colin Rowan, RetiredAussies ©; 3 Cathy Powers ©

Plant Communities

  • 11 Manna Gum Riparian Forest - Central Highlands (EVC 18)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
  • 12 Manna Gum Riparian Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 18)
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