Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Glossodia major

Glossodia major - Waxlip Orchid

Family: Orchidaceae

Common name: Large Waxlip Orchid

Flower: Flowers are 3 to 4cm in diameter but may reach 6cm. Flower segments are mauve to purple becoming white near their bases. The short ovate labellum is white and pubescent in the basal half, purple to mauve in the upper half, it's base crossed by a 2-lobed yellow projection formed by the fused heads of 2 purple calli. There is generally one flower per stem. Flowering period Sept to Nov.

Leaf and stem: Glossodia major grows to 20cm or more in height, with a single basal leaf reaching 10cm in length and 1.5cm in width, all being covered in short hairs.

Habit: Single plants to scattered plants, occasionally massed after good rain.

Habitat: Glossodia major is a terrestrial orchid endemic to eastern Australia, found in open forest and woodland in the Pilliga Forests district. (Also in heath on coast. West and east of the Great Dividing range in NSW, Qld, Victoria, also found in Tas and SA.)
Glossodia major - Waxlip Orchid

notice dense hairs on the underside and stem

The single basal leaf is also covered in fine hairs