Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Trachoma stellatum

Starry Spectral Orchid

Trachoma stellatum M.A.Clem., D.L.Jones, B.Gray & J.J.Wood, Austral. Orch. Res. 1: 146 (1989); Tuberolabium stellatum (M.A.Clem., D.L.Jones, B.Gray & J.J.Wood) J.J.Wood, Nordic J. Bot. 10(5): 482 (1990). Type: cult. ANBG, 8 Apr.1986, M.A. Clements 4038 ex Queensland, Cook District, Upper Massey Creek, 1350S, 14323E, B.J. Wallace s.n. (holo CANB).


Occurs in north-eastern Queensland on the Iron Range and McIlwraith Range.

Altitude: 400-600 m.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming projecting or pendulous clumps. Roots numerous, thick. Stems porrect to pendulous, 3-6 cm long, sparsely branched. Leaves 3-8, scattered along stem, crowded, pendulous, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem; lamina oblong, 5-8 cm x 2 cm, pale green to yellow-green, thick, leathery, channelled, apex unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 10-35 mm long, rachis club-shaped, bearing up to 10 flowers at once. Flowers numerous, resupinate, erect to porrect, 8-9 mm x 4-5 mm, short-lived, cream with purple markings, labellum tip yellow. Sepals and petals moderately spreading. Dorsal sepal obliquely erect, oblong to lanceolate, 5 mm x 1.5 mm, apex acuminate. Lateral sepals free, elliptic, 4.5 mm x 1.5 mm. Petals narrowly ovate, 5 mm x 1.5 mm. Labellum projected forwards, 5 mm x 3.5 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes short, more or less triangular, fleshy, erect to outcurved; midlobe 1 mm long, fleshy, with decurved spur 1.5 mm long. Column porrect, 2 mm long. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs along rainforest margins growing on trees and on isolated trees in open humid areas adjacent to patches of rainforest.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: March-July.

Name Changes

Until recently known as Tuberolabium stellatum.

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