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Scientific Name : Sarcochilus australis
Common Name : Butterfly orchid
Height : Epiphyte usually below 3m
Description : Plant consists of a cluster of flat pale green leaves up to 80mm long, from which up to 6 hanging Racemes each bearing up to 18 flowers. Flowers are 15mm across, yellowish-green to brown, with the central Labellum conspicuous white, with bright pink stripes. Seed pods are uncommon, cylindrical, 4mm diameter and about 40mm long. Seed pods form in December but do not shed seed until about July. Roots are conspicuous (often the easiest way to spot a plant. They are whitish and extend along branches of the host shrub for up to 2 metres from the orchid. Hosts in the Park are varied. In descending order of importance they include: Pittosporum undulatum, Coprosma quadrifida, Pomaderris aspera, Olearia argophylla, Rapanea howittiana, Cassinia longifolia.
Habitat : on trees and shrubs in fern gullies and rainforest pockets.
Distribution : Common in the Park, but confined to a 900 metre stretch of Fosters Gully running North-South as far as Lyndons Clearing. Colonies are uncommon in Victoria, scattered through the Eastern half of the state. Commoner in East Gippsland. Also found in Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland.
Flowering Season : November to December
Family : Orchidaceae
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Butterfly orchid flowering plant in Fosters Gully
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Butterfly orchid plant with two seed pods in Fosters Gully