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 rufum

Citation: R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 319 (1810).

Synonymy: P. nigricans sensu R. Rogers in J. Black, Fl. S. Aust. 222 (1943), non R. Br.

Common name: Red midge-orchid.

Plant slender, 4-30 cm high, variable, stem green, erect, more or, les fleshy, basally encased in a dense fibrous sheath; leaf closely sheathing the stem for most of its length; raceme 2-6 cm long, 3-20-flowered.

Flowers in the mature plant deflexed; sepals green and reddish-brown to a dark purplish-red, sometimes grey-green and red; dorsal sepal 2-3 mm long, broad-ovate, acute, deeply hooded; lateral sepals c. 4 mm long, broad-lanceolate, widely diverging, often gland-tipped, greenish; petals about the same length and colour as the dorsal sepal, or shorter, lanceolate to triangular, the anterior margin sometimes irregular; labellum obovate, c. 2.5 x 1.25 mm, cuneate, the anterior margins denticulate, shortly serrate or sometimes almost ciliate, apex shortly acuminate; posterior margins entire; callus plate prominently raised, very dark-purplish, extending from the shortly channelled base to the apex, membranous part narrow, purple; column appendages chelate, triangular, anterior lobe acute, purple, minutely serrate, posterior obtuse to rounded, very light-coloured; anther incurved, commonly with a long point; pollinia 2, 2-lobed, caudicle sometimes purple; stigma prominent, oval.

Published illustration: Gray (1971) Victorian native orchids 2:72 as P. nigricans; Woolcock (1984) Australian terrestrial orchids, pl. 42B.

Distribution:  Occurs singly or in small groups in forest or scrubland, mainly in open situations in areas receiving greater than 500 mm mean annual rainfall.

  Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: Jan. — May.

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

Biology: Very similar to P. nigricans which has greenish petals and apparent intermediates occur where the two are sympatric.

Author: Not yet available

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