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Phaius australis F.Muell.
Family Orchidaceae
Common name: Lesser Swamp Orchid

Phaius australis F.Muell. APNI*

Description: Terrestrial to c. 2 m high; pseudobulbs ovoid, 2–7 cm diam.

Leaves 4–8 per shoot, 30–70 cm long, 3–10 cm wide; lamina usually oblanceolate, apex acute.

Inflorescences 1 or 2, from the axils of the lower leaves, 70–110 cm long, 5–20-flowered, stiffly erect. Sepals and lateral petals white on the outside, red-brown with yellow veins on the inside. Sepals 3.5–6 cm long, 0.8–1.0 mm wide, oblong-acuminate. Lateral petals 3.3–4.5 cm long, 0.8–1.3 mm wide. Labellum lamina 2.8–5.5 mm long, 1.7–4.5 mm wide, red-brown with a yellow keel inside; spur 5–10 mm long. Most flowers usually setting fruit.

Photo G. Harden

Photo D. Hardin

Flowering: Sept.–Oct.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in Melaleuca quinquenervia swamps and in sclerophyll forest, on the coast, at or near sea level; reported north from Lake Cathie, but chiefly north from the Evans Head district.
NSW subdivisions: NC
Other Australian states: Qld
Threatened species: NSW TSCA: Endangered ROTAP: 3VCa
AVH map***

Text by P. H. Weston
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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