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Species profile—Phaius bernaysii (yellow swamp orchid)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → OrchidaceaePhaius bernaysii (yellow swamp orchid)

Photo of Phaius bernaysii (yellow swamp orchid) - Queensland Herbarium, DES (Licence: CC BY NC)
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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Phaius bernaysii Rowland ex Rchb.f.
Common name
yellow swamp orchid
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
golden swamp orchid
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Indicator Species
Pest status
Phaius bernaysii is a ground orchid growing up to 2m tall when in flower and forming clumps up to 1m wide. The stems have a bulb-like enlargement and are crowded, 50-70 by 50-70mm. There are 4-7 leaves that are dark green and pleated, 50-125cm long by 8-10cm wide.
The flower spikes are 2m tall, stout and contain 4-16 flowers. The flowers are fleshy, measuring 6-10cm by 6.5-11cm, white on the outside and pale yellow-green to yellow on the inside. The central column-like petal (labellum) is yellow to white in colour. The lateral lobes of the labellum are usually incurved beside the column and sometimes extend above the column, but do not form a tight tube.
P. bernaysii differs from P. australis in the flower colour and is indistinguishable when not in flower. (DEWHA 2008)
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Phaius bernaysii grows in low lying areas which are more or less swampy for most of the year. It has been recorded growing in scattered clumps among sedges and lantana, and among heath at the edge of swamps. (DEWHA 2008; Herbrecs 2008)
Phaius bernaysii flowers from September to December. (DEWHA 2008)
Threatening processes
Collecting, sand mining, clearing of habitat.
Management documents
Conservation and management of protected plants in trade in Queensland 1995-1998. Department of Environment.
Contributors: Weslawa Misiak 10/09/1998; Peter Bostock, Mellisa Mayhew 13/03/2009
Clements, M.A. (1989). Catalogue of Australian Orchidaceae. Australian Orchid Research 1: 1-160.
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Phaius bernaysii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 24/10/2008.
Herbrecs (2008). Phaius bernaysii, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 24/10/2008.
Jones, D.L. (1988). Native Orchids of Australia. Reed Books, Sydney. 656 pp.
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
20 May 2024