Eriochilus cucullatus complex APNI*
Synonyms: Eriochilus cucullatus (Labill.) Rchb.f. APNI*
Eriochilus petricola D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*
Eriochilus autumnalis R.Br. APNI*
Description: Terrestrial herb to 4–30 cm high, leaf sometimes incompletely developed at flowering time.
Leaf ovate to cordate, 8–35 mm long, 7–12 mm wide at maturity, usually glabrous, upper side dark green, smooth or ridged, but occasionally with a few hispid short hairs; underside green to purple.
Inflorescence up to 10–25 cm high, hairy, 1–5-flowered. Flowers white, greenish to deep pink (NT), 15–20 mm long, 12–15 mm wide, outer surfaces glabrous to sparsely hairy. Lateral sepals 9–13 mm long, basally clawed; lateral petals linear with a dilated apical portion. Labellum lamina stiffly convex, obscurely 3-lobed, ovate or elliptic with an oblong basal limb, yellow-green with red margins, covered with clusters of separate white and red bristles.
Flowering: Flowers December to May
Distribution and occurrence: Queensland (north to Maryborough), NSW, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania.
Widespread in most open habitats in heath to sclerophyll forest; from sea level to subalpine regions, coastal sites, inland to Grenfell district. Altitude 0-800 metres.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
There is a form with lateral sepals that are unusually large and deep pink are found in the New England region (NT).
Text by Louisa Murray and Peter Weston, September 2016
Taxon concept: Jones D.L., Egan, J. and Wood, T (2008) Field Guide to the Orchids of Australian Capital Territory, National Parks Association of the ACT. p 130 and The Orchadian Vol 15, No. 12 p 551-552.
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.