Cryptostylis leptochila Small Tongue Orchid
You find this orchid by finding the
leaf. It's huge! It is present well before the flower stem
grows and therefore it can be used as a locator for future visits to the
site. (see below for Photographs)
Flowers are very distinctive and easy to identify.
Flower creep up the plant as it grows, I have seen flowers still looking good in mid July, after initially finding them in flower in December.
Generally uncommon in Victoria, but where it does grow it does so in reasonable numbers.
Photographed in Baluk Willam Flora Reserve.
Flowering: Flowering December to June, mainly January to March.
Size: Up to 50cm tall, flowers - 8 -15, to 20mm across.
Position: Eastern Half of Victoria, coastal to mountain areas. Heathy forests, open forests, woodland and taller closed forests in well drained soils.
The leaf (above) looks very much like
an Eucalypts leaf, however it is green on top and purple underneath.
The flower stem can be dwarfed somewhat by the leaf (upper left) as the plant grows. Flowers start at the bottom and work up!
This specimen grew to at least 57cm and probably more.