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

Family: Orchidaceae
Gastrodia sesamoides

Citation: R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 330 (1810).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Cinnamon bells, potato orchid.

Plant slender to moderately robust; rhizomes tuberous, thick, fleshy, scaly, to 8 cm long and c. 3 cm across; stem erect, dark-brown, 30-80 cm high and 2-7 mm diam.; sheathing scales loose and very obtuse, shortly acute sometimes acuminate, c. 1 cm long, crowded at the base, distant higher up.

Raceme 3-20 cm long, few- to many-flowered; flowers erect first then drooping to bring the dorsal sepal next to the axis; bracts subtending pedicels as long as or slightly longer than them; pedicels 3-10 mm long; ovary comparatively small; flowers bell-shaped, brown, white towards the apices, exterior surface often very rough, 13-20 mm long and 4-9 mm diam.; lobes slightly thickened marginally; lateral sepals connate almost to the level of the labellum-tip; dorsal sepal and petals united, their apices free, the dorsal sepal sometimes a little longer than the other segments; labellum mobile on a broad claw which is adnate to the basal projection of the lateral sepals, shorter than the rest of the perianth, ovate-oblong, somewhat obscurely 3-lobed, lateral lobes very small, the margins upturned and undulate or lacerate, apex of mid-lobe truncate, lamina suffused with yellow or orange, long median calli much crested, extending from the apex to about the middle of the lamina, then divided into 2 prominent divergent ridges which continue obscurely towards the base; column almost as long as the labellum, slender, erect, very narrowly winged throughout, traversed by a wide canal, with a small angular viscid stigma at the base; anther short, hemispherical, operculate, filament smooth; pollinia in 2 pairs, very granular, united by mucus at their apices.

Published illustration: Cady & Rotherham (1970) Australian native orchids in colour, pl. 73; Curtis (1980) Student's flora of Tasmania 4A:pl. 17; Hoffman & Brown (1984) Orchids of south-west Australia, p. 326.

Distribution:  Solitary or forming small groups in humus rich soil under heavy forest in high rainfall areas, often in deep leaf litter along creeks but uncommon in S.Aust.

S.Aust.: SL, KI, SE.   all States except the N.T.   New Zealand; naturalised in South Africa.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: Oct. — Nov.

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

Biology: Pollinated by native bees.

Author: Not yet available

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