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Species profile—Bulbophyllum globuliforme


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → OrchidaceaeBulbophyllum globuliforme

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Bulbophyllum globuliforme Nicholls
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Near threatened
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Bulbophyllum globuliforme is a tiny rhizomatous orchid that grows on the bark of trees. The plants generally form sparse to dense mats and long strands. The stems (rhizomes) creep along and closely adhere to the branches of host trees. Along the rhizome, thickened bulb-like stems (pseudobulbs) are closely spaced. The small pseudobulbs are almost globular or egg-shaped, 1 to 2 mm by 1 to 2 mm and generally pale green. Arising from the top of the pseudobulbs are small and thread-like leaves. The papery leaves have a narrow-triangular shape, are 1.0 to 2.0 mm long by 0.2 to 0.3 mm wide, concave and often shed early. The flower stems arise from the base of the pseudobulbs and are 10 to 15 mm long, thread-like and bear a solitary flower. The small, 3 to 4 mm wide flowers are comprised of an outer whorl of 3 petal-like structures called sepals, an inner whorl of 2 petals and a modified petal called a labellum. The sepals and petals are widely spreading with the uppermost sepal projected forwards. The sepals are white to pale yellow or rarely suffused with crimson. The uppermost sepal is ovate and about 3 mm long to 2 mm wide. The side sepals are about 3 mm long by 1.5 mm wide and triangular in shape. The white to pale yellow petals are slightly shorter and half the width of the sepals. The yellow labellum is 1.5 to 2.0 mm long by about 1.0 mm wide, curved and fleshy.
B. globuliforme is similar to B. minutissimum, but B. minutissimum grows on rocks faces, or trees such as figs and mangrove species (Barker, 1999).
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Bulbophyllum globuliforme occurs in notophyll vine forest and some microphyll vine forest with Araucaria cunninghamii
(hoop pine) emergents. In Queensland, it appears to grow solely on the scaly bark of the branches and upper trunk of older hoop pine trees with other epiphytes such as the vulnerable Bulbophyllum weinthalii. It occurs between altitudes of 500 to 900 m. It is suspected that hoop pines need to be at least 100 years old before they are suitable as habitat for this orchid. This orchid appears to favour the underside of tree limbs (Barker, 1999).
Little is known of the biology and ecology of this species. B. globuliforme flowers from September to November and May to August. Species in the genus Bulbophyllum are commonly pollinated by flies (Barker, 1991).
Threatening processes

The main identified threats to miniature moss-orchid are logging of hoop pine host trees; damage to host trees by logging and collection; and damage by orchid enthusiasts (DSEWPC, 2012).
Status notes
Bulbophyllum globuliforme is listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Management documents
Conservation and management of protected plants in trade in Queensland 1995-1998. Department of Environment.
Oncophyllum globuliforme is a synonym
Barker, M. (1999). Species Profile Bulbophyllum globuliforme, Forest Ecosystem Research and Assessment (FERA), Natural Sciences Precinct (NSP), DNR.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Bulbophyllum globuliforme in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 19/01/2012.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (22/06/2012)

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