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Genus Glossodia Family Orchidaceae

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.


Photo © ANBG

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
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Sepals 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 headGlossodia 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 headsGlossodia minor

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