Description: Terrestrial herbs, sympodial; roots few and inconspicuous, filamentous; tubers entirely encased in a multilayered, persistent, shaggy fibrous sheath (tunica).
Leaves basal, 1 per shoot, convolute.
Inflorescence racemose, 1- or 2-flowered, terminal; flowers resupinate. Sepals free, similar. Lateral petals free, similar to sepals. Labellum free, attached at base of column by a short claw; lamina weakly 3-lobed, with entire margins, with 1 or 2 basal calli, sometimes with numerous papilli at the base. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings fused to column, expansive in upper half, broad. Column foot absent. Anther erect, parallel to the axis of the column, persistent. Pollinia 4, soft and mealy. Stigma entire. Rostellum ventral.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 2 species, endemic Australia. Australia: Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A.
Hybrids between the two Glossodia species have been reported in N.S.W. as well as hybrids between Glossodia and those Caladenia spp. with blue flowers.
Text by P. Bernhardt
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Sepals and petals 15–30 mm long; labellum 8–11 mm long, white with a purple tip (or rarely whole flower white); basal callus solitary, with 2-lobed yellow head||Glossodia major|
|Sepals and petals 8–15 mm long; labellum 3–5 mm long, purple (or rarely whole flower white); basal calli 2, fused at their bases, with dark heads||Glossodia minor|