Yarra Ranges Shire Council


Microtis rara

Common Name: Scented Onion-orchid
Synonym: M. oblonga
Family: Orchidaceae
Size: 20-60cm
Description: Slender green perennial herb with round tubers forming sparse colonies or scattered individuals. Flower stem erupts from hollow onion-like leaf.
Leaves: Single erect leaf to 60 cm, sheath opening well below flowerhead.
Flowering: Open spike of 5-50 tiny scented flowers; central sepal hooded, tip pointed; lateral sepals short, tightly rolled under; petals spreading beyond sepal. Lip bent to ovary, margins & tip shallowly notched.
Flower Colour: Green
Flowering Time: November to December
Growing Conditions: Moist to wet soils in swamps and heathy woodlands. Semi shade to full shade. Fires stimulate flowering.
Garden Use: Use of orchids in gardens is not recommended, unless they already occur naturally, in which case they need to be protected. Removing orchids from the bush usually results in their death and further depletes remaining wild orchid populations.
Related Species:
Plant Communities: 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 18, 22, 30, 41
Conservation Status: Scattered throughout the Shire but not common.
Aboriginal Use: Food - tuber
Commercially available: Never
Bird Attracting: No
Butterfly Attracting: No
Frog Habitat: No
Photographer: Helen Moss ©
Photo montage - default
Last Updated: 30/06/2010
Yarra Ranges Shire Council © 2009
P O Box 105, Anderson Street, Lilydale, VIC 3140
Tel: 1300 368 333 Fax: 9735 4249