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Home Orchids of Brisbane Aci. amplexicaulis Aci. caudatus Aci. exsertus Aci. fornicatus Arth. prolixus Bulb. elisae Bulb. exiguum Bulb. lamingtonense Bulb. minutissimum Bulb. schillerianum Bulb. shepherdii Caladenia Cal. triplicata Cla. major Clchs. campestris Clchs. robertsonii Chlglt. sp. Crybs. aconitiflorus Crybs. barbarae Crybs. fimbriatus Crybs. undulatus Crptst. erecta Crptst. subulata Cymbidium Den. aemulum Den. falcorostrum Den. gracilicaule Den. kingianum Den. monophyllum Den. schneiderae Den. speciosum Den. tetragonum Dipo. punctatum Dipo. roseum Dipo. variegatum Diuris abbreviata Diuris alba Diuris sulphurea Dockrillia Epgm. roseum Erio. autumnalis Eo. cassythoides Gta. sesamoides Geno. acuminatum Geno. nudiscapum Geno. sp Geod. densiflorum Gloss. major Gloss. minor Lip. coelogynoides Lip. habenarina Lip. swenssonii Mrs. parviflora Obrnia. titania Pbm. beckleri Perths. hillii Plrhz. tridentata Ptst. acuminata Ptst. baptistii Ptst. curta Ptst. erecta Ptst. grandiflora Ptst. hamata Ptst. hildae Pter. hispidula Pter. longifolia Pter. mutica Ptst. nutans Pter. obtusa Ptst. ophioglossa Ptst. rufa Ptst. russellii Ptst. woollsii Rhin. divitiflora Sarc. ceciliae Sarc. dilatatus Sarc. falcatus Sarc. hillii Sarc. olivaceus Sarc. spathulatus Sprnth. sinensis Tae. aff. lobatum Tae. muelleri Thel. ixioides Thel. nuda Thel. pauciflora Thel. purpurata Acknowledgements


Arthrochilus prolixus

Arthrochilus prolixus plant

This small terrestrial is one of the Elbow orchids. This genus is very easy to separate when in flower due to the unique elbow shaped flowers. This orchid grows in open forests around Brisbane in gravely soil and usually occurs in large numbers. Due to it small size and red and green colours, this orchid is very easily overlooked.

The flower stem grows to about 150mm tall with about 6 flowers, each only about 15mm long. When the flowering finishes, the blue green leaves will emerge. The leaves will die off in winter.

This orchid is very similar to Arthrochilus irritabilis but can be distinguished by the sparser calli on the labellum which are not club shaped. To inspect the labellum calli will require a magnifying glass.

Arthrochilus prolixus
The flower of Arthrochilus prolixus. Note the elbow at the end of the labellum (hammer shaped part with hairs at the end at the top of the photo). This orchid is fertilised by a male insect mistaking the labellum for a female and grabbing the labellum and attempting to fly off.

The hinge of the  flower rotates the insect onto the pollen (yellow ball at middle left of the photo) before the startled insect flies off to try his luck with another orchid.

Arthrochilus prolixus triggered
This Arthrochilus prolixus has been triggered clearly showing the labellum rotated down past the pollen.

Arthrochilus prolixus rosette
The blue green rosette of Arthrochilus prolixus is quite distinctive. The leaves are usually about 50mm long and 10 to 15mm wide. Usually this orchid is found in large colonies.


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