Onion Orchid, Microtis unifolia mass flowering (December 2010)

If you know what to look for you will find hundreds of Common Onion Orchids (Microtis unifolia) currently flourishing on Mount Majura. This rather inconspicuous orchid grows in poorly drained sites and has been found growing in large colonies at seepage areas on the footslopes where degradation is limited.

The orchid has a single tubular about 30 cm long fleshy leaf and a flower stem of about the same size. The number of flowers in a spike varies. The tiny about 5mm long flowers are green with a dorsal hooded sepal and short lateral sepals.

Flowers of the Common Onion orchid Microtis unifolia (top) and a colony of onion orchids (photographs by W. Pix)

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