Australian Native Plants

  Drakaea glyptodon (Hammer Orchid)


Drakaea glyptodon photo
King-in-his-carriage (hammer orchid)

Photograph by Mark Brundrett. Some rights reserved.    (view image details)




HAMMER ORCHID FACTS

distribution map showing range of Drakaea glyptodon in Australia

Map is from The Atlas of Living Australia web site, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License


Common Name
Hammer Orchid

Other Names
King-in-his-carriage

Description
The Hammer Orchid is an unusual plant from Western Australia. The flower is green and yellow with a red labellum. The labellum has a narrow stalk which is hinged and can move backward towards the stigma. The plant produces pheromones which attract male native wasp pollinators that may mistake the labellum for a female wasp. The male tries to grasp the labellum which moves back pushing the wasp into the pollen. Next time the wasp lands on a flower the process is repeating and pollen is transferred to the stigma of another plant. The flowers are produced on straight narrow stems, and flowering is in spring from August to October. The plant produces a heart shaped leaf which has a tile pattern of pale green and darker green.

Height
35cm

Habitat
found in damp sandy soil on coastal plains and swamp margins

Distribution
Drakaea glyptodon is found in south western parts of Western Australia from north of Perth to Albany and east to around Esperance

Classification
Class:Liliopsida
Order:Asparagales
Family:Orchidaceae
Genus:Drakaea
Species:glyptodon
Common Name:Hammer Orchid


Relatives in same Genus
  Drakaea thynniphila