Prasophyllum elatum

Tall Leek-orchid

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

Additional information

  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size0.6-1.5 m high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle stout fleshy green to blackish leaf, round in cross section, to 1.2 m long.
  • Flower colourPale green to dark brown, lip white or pink
  • Flowering timeSeptember to December
  • FlowersDense crowded spike 5-40 cm long of 10-60 scented flowers to 15 mm wide, ovary gradually narrowing. Central sepal oval, incurved; flat erect lateral sepals joined. Lip slightly bent near tip margin wavy, thick yellow ridge down the centre, edges raised.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist to well drained soil in heathy woodlands and open forest. Full sun, 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 statusSignificant within the Shire. Known from a few sites in the foothills of the Dandenongs.
  • 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 Ken Harris ©; 2 Geoff Lay ©; 3 Cathy Powers ©; 4 Colin & Mischa Rowan, RetiredAussies ©

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