Native swamp orchid
Phaius australis, Fam. Orchidaceae
Large, terrestrial, endangered orchid. Phaius from the Greek ‘phaios’ grey, swarthy in reference to the flower colour and australis, Latin for southern.
|Form or habit:||Orchid|
Large, very narrowly elliptic to very narrowly ovate, pleated.
White, Red, Brown
|Flower description:||Tall, erect raceme of large flowers that are white on the outside and red brown inside. Spring to early summer.|
|Fruit description:||Green capsules.|
|Habitat:||Gallery (riverine or riparian) forest, littoral rainforest, rainforest, wetland.|
|Distribution||Queensland, New South Wales.|
|Food source for:|
|Toxicity:||No toxicity known|
|Notes:||The species is endangered, largely because of illegal collection and loss of habitat. Once confused with P. tancarvilliae which is now regarded as native to China and wrongly recorded in Australia. The two species are very similar in appearance, but the labellum of P. australis does not form a tube that encompasses the column, unlike that of P. tancarvilliae.|
|Information sources:||Atlas of Living Australia (2022) Phaius australis F.Muell., Melzer R. & Plumb J. (2007) Plants of Capricornia.|