Prasophyllum tadgellianum

Small Alpine Leek-orchid

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

Additional information

  • SynonymPrasophyllum alpinum
  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size10-30 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle erect green leaf, reddish at base, round in cross section, to 30 cm long, not sheathed.
  • Flower colourGreen, yellowish or brown with thin red stripes on central sepal & petals
  • Flowering timeDecember to February
  • FlowersCrowded to open spike to 8 cm long of 5-30 scented flowers to 12 mm across, ovary oval. Central sepal egg-shaped, curved back with pointed tip; lateral sepals partly joined, margins incurved, petals narrow. Lip green, flat, covered by raised fleshy plate.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist peaty soils in subalpine herbfields near the Shire's border and tall forests. Semi shade.
  • 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 statusRare in Victoria with few known populations. Significant within the Shire. Early collection from the Healesville area. May still remain near the Shire boundary.
  • 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, 3 Colin & Mischa Rowan, RetiredAussies ©; 2 Chris Clarke, NatureShare ©

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