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

Family: Orchidaceae
Acianthus exsertus

Citation: R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 321 (1810).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Mosquito orchid, gnat orchid.

Slender, glabrous, 7-16 cm high; leaf single, sessile, ovate-cordate; generally a little above the base; green above, red below; margins entire, often sinuous; 1 or 2 marginal nerves, venation otherwise reticulate.

Flowers 3-20, on short pedicels, reddish-purple or rarely verdant-green; dorsal sepal 5-6 mm long, concave, slightly incurved, much contracted below, expanded above and terminating in a fine short point; lateral sepals almost as long, subulate, free, spreading beneath the labellum; petals lanceolate, 2-3 mm long, acutely bent backwards; labellum ovate-lanceolate with a very acute depressed point, on a short claw or contracted base; generally a deeper red than the perianth segments; spreading, c. 3 mm long; margins entire; lamina smooth except for a pair of prominent basal glands; column semiterete, enlarged at each end, upper end cup-shaped, c. 2.5 mm long, very much incurved above; anther quite blunt, erect; pollinia 2 in each cell; each mass semicircular with clavate ends like a dumb-bell, each pair connected by their middle to a separate viscid disk; stigma transverse, oval, prominent, very concave; rostellum double, represented by a tooth-like prominence at each end of the upper border of the stigma, each bearing a separate viscid disk.

Published illustration: Fitzgerald (1875) Australian orchids, vol. 1, pt 1; Gray (1966) Victorian native orchids, 1:16; Pocock (1972) Ground orchids of Australia, pl. 2; Woolcock (1984) Australian terrestrial orchids, pl. 1B.

Distribution:  Forming small to large colonies in various soils in heathlands, scrub or forest, particularly in rocky areas. Common.

  N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: May — Aug.

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

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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