Australian Native Plants

  Phaius australis (Lesser Swamp Orchid)


Phaius australis photo
Phaius australis flowers, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Photograph by Poyt448 Peter Woodard. License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Phaius australis photo
Phaius australis at Coffs Harbour

Photograph by Poyt448 Peter Woodard. License: Public Domain.    (view image details)




LESSER SWAMP ORCHID FACTS

distribution map showing range of Phaius australis in Australia

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


Common Name
Lesser Swamp Orchid

Other Names
Lesser Swamp-orchid, Common Swamp Orchid, Southern Swamp Orchid, Swamp Lily

Description
The Lesser Swamp Orchid is a large terrestrial orchid growing to 2 m in height. The star shaped flowers are brownish or reddish brown with white underside, and sometimes have yellow veins.. The lip or labellum is pink on the inside. The lateral sepals are larger than the petals and lance shaped. Flowering is in spring from September to November. Leaves are dark green and narrow, lance shaped, and grow to about 125 cm long and 10 cm wide. The leaves have a ribbed or corrugated look and resemble Cocos palm seedlings. This species is listed as endangered in Queensland and New South Wales. This orchid grows in colonies in suitable habitat.

Height
50cm - 200cm

Habitat
grows in paperbark swamps and damp areas in forest, woodland

Distribution
Phaius australis is found in eastern Queensland and north eastern New South Wales. It is also found in Indonesia, New Caledonia, Fiji and other islands in the region.



Classification
Class:Liliopsida
Order:Asparagales
Family:Orchidaceae
Genus:Phaius
Species:australis
Common Name:Lesser Swamp Orchid


Relatives in same Genus
  Phaius tancarvilleae