Small Tongue-orchid

Small Tongue-orchid
Photographer
Frank Pierce
Common Name
Small Tongue-orchid
Scientific Name
Cryptostylis leptochila
Size
20-40cm
Leaf Description
1-2 erect, thick leathery broadly lance-shaped leaves 4-11cm x 10-40mm, on stalks 1-8cm long, green on upper surface, brownish-purple below.
General Description
Stiffly erect hairless orchid with the column below the labellum. 1-2 broad leaves with 9-15 flowers growing to 40cm high. Flowers open sequentially up the stem. The labellum (lip) looks like a tounge curving upwards. Forms small colonies, retaining the leaves all year unless it is very dry. These orchids actively grow over spring and summer.
Flower Description
9-15 terminal raceme flowers, to 20mm across. Fine green perianth segments speading with margins rolled in. Oblong red to purple labellum projecting forward before sharply curving up, margins also inrollded. Black calli in 2 rows.
Flower Colour
Green with dark reddish-purple lip (labellum)
Flowering Months
January
February
March
April
May
December
Habitat
Moist foothill forests, occasionally drier forests.
Date of Last Record
1990-1999
Growing Conditions
Semi shade. Well-drained soils