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Scientific Name : Eriochilus cucullatus
Common Name : Parson's bands
Height : 200 mm
Description : A tiny little orchid, flowering in late summer and autumn. The solitary leaf is not present during flowering, but develops after the flower is over. It is Ovate, dark green, and close to the ground. It is stiff and very smooth, and almost hairless. The flower stem is very slender and bears 1 to 5 flowers, each about 20mm long. The lateral Sepals are the most conspicuous feature of the flowers. They are white to pale pink, narrowly Ovate, 15mm long, angled downwards and almost parallel and are the reason for the name 'Parson's Bands'. The Dorsal Sepal is only 5mm long and is upright, forming a hood over the Column. The lateral Petals are 7mm, linear with broader tips, directed upwards and ouwards either side of the Column. The Labellum, 8mm long, is dominated by its mid lobe, which is broad and protrudes forward, curling under at the tip. It is covered with short hairs and has a yellowish appearance.
Habitat : A wide range of habitats from alpine meadows and heaths to open woodland.
Distribution : Queensland to South Australia and Tasmania. Widespread through most of Victoria, but missing from the extreme North-West. In the Park, scattered on hillsides either side of Fosters Gully, but not common, although easily overlooked.
Flowering Season : February March April
Family : Orchidaceae
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Parson's bands flowers on Stringybark Ridge