Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Orchidaceae
Prasophyllum macrostachyum

Citation: R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 318 (1810).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Laughing leek-orchid.

Diminutive plant, 5-15 cm high, slender but rigidly erect, leaf almost filiform, 5-15 cm long stem (and base of the leaf) red or maroon.

Flowers 3-12, semi-erect, green with red tints, in a rather loose spike, not perfumed; pedicel c. 1.5 mm, ovary turgid, ovoid, large in comparison with the flower; dorsal sepal ovate-lanceolate, 2-3 mm long, green edged with red, the apex straight or incurved; lateral sepals lanceolate, 2.5-3.5 mm long, acute, conjoined for half their length, a deep semicircular depression near the base, margins much incurved; petals triangular, 2-2.5 mm long, c. 1.2 mm broad at the base, green with distinct red margins; labellum fleshy, oblong-lanceolate, c. 2.3 mm long, recurved at 90 near the middle, green with maroon tints, the erect part oblong, the recurved part triangular, margins entire; callus plate triangular with a transverse ridge near the base, then deeply concave before the bend, raised and irregularly channelled beyond, extending almost to the labellum tips, covering about half its surface; column appendages absent or represented by minute swellings; anther brown, acute, shallow; stigma indistinct; rostellum large; pollinia granular, attached directly to the viscid disk.

Published illustration: Hoffman & Brown (1984) Orchids of south-west Australia, p. 262 as var. macrostachyum & p. 264 as var. tingens.

Distribution:  Occurs in shallow soil pockets on travertine limestone, under mallee. Flowers apomictic remaining open only 2-5 days.


Conservation status: native

Flowering time: mid to late Sept.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: Our specimens resemble both P. macrostachyum R. Br. var. macroslachyum which occurs in swampy parts of south-west W.Aust., and the var. tingens (Reichb. f.) A.S. George from drier open country in W.Aust., but differs from them in their much smaller flowers, column without appendages and the apomictic habit.

Author: Not yet available

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