Dipodium variegatum

Slender hyacinth orchid, blotched hyacinth orchid

This terrestrial saprophyte grows in open eucalypt forest throughout Brisbane. Being a saprophyte, this orchid has no leaves but the flower stem is the only part which emerges above ground. This orchid is extremely common and can be found in the hundreds in a good flowering season. It often produces three or four flower stems, a new stem growing as the old stem finishes. It’s peak flowering period is January, but it flowers sporadically throughout the year.

The flower stem grows to about 60 cm with up to 20 flowers. The flowers are about 20 mm across and are white or light pink with large maroon blotches. The ovary is quite humped and the ovary and pedicel are spotted with maroon.

This orchid is very similar to Dipodium punctatum and Dipodium roseum, but can be easily distinguished by the maroon spotting on the ovary and pedicel.

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