Australian Native Plants

  Cryptostylis leptochila (Small Tongue-orchid)


Cryptostylis leptochila photo
Cryptostylis leptochila, Small Tongue-orchid, photographed at Baluk Willam Reserve in Belgrave South.

Photograph by AusDigi (wikimedia). Some rights reserved.    (view image details)




SMALL TONGUE-ORCHID FACTS

distribution map showing range of Cryptostylis leptochila in Australia

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


Common Name
Small Tongue-orchid

Description
The Small Tongue-orchid is a ground orchid with small tongue shaped flower and relatively large leaf. The flower is erect and about 4 cm long. The most striking part of the flower is the maroon-coloured labellum which is tongue-shaped and covered with fine hairs on the upper surface giving a furry appearance. The labellum has a thin black stripe running along the centre, and a row of black spots (calli) along each side. The petals and sepals are narrow and green. Flowering is in spring and summer from October to April. The leaves are green above and purple underneath and grow to about 10 cm long and up to 4 cm wide.

Height
60cm

Habitat
grows in dry eucalypt woodland in coastal areas and on mountain ranges

Distribution
Cryptostylis leptochila is found in eastern New South Wales, south east Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania

Classification
Class:Liliopsida
Order:Asparagales
Family:Orchidaceae
Genus:Cryptostylis
Species:leptochila
Common Name:Small Tongue-orchid


Relatives in same Genus
  Cryptostylis erecta
  Cryptostylis hunteriana
  Cryptostylis subulata