Prasophyllum odoratum

Scented or Sweet Leek-orchid

Slender erect perennial herb growing from a fleshy tuber, new tubers produced at base of plant. Green to reddish stem. Flowers upside down with lip (labellum) on top.

Additional information

  • SynonymPrasophyllum sp. aff. odoratum G
  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size0.2-0.9 m high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle erect slender to robust green leaf with reddish base, round in cross section, to 70 cm long, closely sheathed, free section non sheathing, to 20 cm.
  • Flower colourGreen with red-brown stripes
  • Flowering timeOctober to November
  • FlowersOpen spike to 12 cm long of 10-40 scented flowers to 12 mm across, ovary short. Sepals & petals narrow, incurved, erect to spreading, pointed, petals slightly wavy. Narrow, sharply recurved white lip has wavy margin & rounded teeth, not longer than sepals..
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist well drained soils in open and closed forests and woodlands. Semi shade. Fire encourages flowering, especially in forests.
  • 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 statusMay still occur in limited numbers. Early collections throughout the Shire. Endemic to Victoria.
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
  • Related speciesPrasophyllum patens appears to be included within this species, some communities belonging to this form. Similar 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, 3 Gordon Carter ©; 2 Colin Rowan ©

Plant Communities

  • 07 Mountain Grey Gum Damp Forest - Central Highlands (EVC 29)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
  • 08 Mountain Grey Gum Damp Forest – Dandenongs (EVC 29)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
  • 17 Messmate Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 27 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 22)
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