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Species profile—Sarcochilus hartmannii


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → OrchidaceaeSarcochilus hartmannii

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Sarcochilus hartmannii F.Muell.
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Sarcochilus hartmannii is an orchid that grows on rocks and usually forms relatively small clumps but large, dense mats have also been observed. The freely branched and semierect stems are normally 50cm in length, but can reach 1m. Longer stems are covered in the remains of numerous leaf bases. Stems contain 4-10 straight or curved leaves which are thick-textured, 20cm long by 2cm wide and channelled. The leaves are dark green but bleach to yellowish-green in exposed situations.
Arising from the stems are 1-4 erect or arching flower stalks (inflorescences) which are 6-25cm long and bear 5-25 crowded flowers. The flowers, on stalks 8-20mm long, are 10-30mm across and exhibit a fair degree of floral variation. The flowers are generally white with crimson dots in the centre, but in the south of its range S. hartmannii has small buff coloured flowers with a few brown spots. A form with pure white (or nearly so) flowers has also been found, but due to excessive collecting it is reported as being extinct in the wild. Flowers are comprised of an outer whorl of three petal-like sepals, an inner whorl of two petals and a modified lower petal called a labellum. The petals, sepals and labellum are very broad, fairly thick-textured and widely spreading but still touch each other. The petals and sepals are more or less ovate with the sepals slightly broader than the petals. The labellum is projected forward, has three lobes and is very small - generally about one-fifth as long as the sepals. Seed capsules are cylindrical and reach 8.5cm in length.
S. hartmannii can be confused with S. fitzgeraldii. However, S. fitzgeraldii has more flaccid and deeper green leaves, fewer flowers (4-15), more widely spreading sepals and petals which do not touch each other, and the lateral lobes of the labellum are prominently curved. (Barker 1999)
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Sarcochilus hartmannii is found in eucalypt woodlands, open forests and tall to very tall open forests (wet sclerophyll forest). It is a species that almost exclusively grows on boulders, cliff faces and escarpments, although occasional plants have been found on the fibrous bases of trees and even cycads. It prefers basalt substrate and exposed sunny locations, although occasionally it has been found growing near creeks in rather shady conditions. It occurs within a range of 700-1000m above sea level. (Barker 1999; DEWHA 2008)
Sarcochilus hartmannii flowers from September to November. (Barker 1999)
Management documents
Conservation and management of protected plants in trade in Queensland 1995-1998. Department of Environment.
Contributors: Peter Bostock, Mellisa Mayhew 13/03/2009
Barker, M. (1999). Sarcochilus hartmannii, in Species Management Manual. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Sarcochilus hartmannii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 27/10/2008.
Herbrecs (2008). Sarcochilus hartmannii, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 27/10/2008.
Profile author
Peter Bostock (13/03/2009)

Other resources

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
8 March 2022