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Species profile—Corunastylis tecta (Cardwell midge orchid)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → OrchidaceaeCorunastylis tecta (Cardwell midge orchid)

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Corunastylis tecta (D.L.Jones) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
Common name
Cardwell midge orchid
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Corunastylis tecta is a deciduous terrestrial orchid, with a single leaf and growing to 50cm tall. Its leaf is 150-300mm long, with the free part of 10-20mm ending well below the flowers.
The flower spike is 40-50mm tall and has 5-30 flowers that are well-spaced and semi-nodding. The flowers are 5mm long by 4mm wide and light red in colour, with a dark reddish-black central column-like petal (labellum). The labellum is thick and fleshy, about 5mm long by 2.5mm wide, with a pointed tip and short coarse hairs along the margins. The petals are 2.5mm long by 0.8mm wide, with a sharply pointed tip, dark bands and hairless margins.
It is a distinctive species with no obvious relationships to any other member of the genus. It can be recognised by its tall slender habit, small flowers widely spaced on the spike, the relatively small elliptical labellum sparsely fringed with short hairs, and the distinctive long, narrow and pointed petals. (DEWHA 2008)
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Corunastylis tecta grows among dense sedges and shrubby understorey, not far from a creek, in wet Melaleuca viridiflora woodlands. They occur on poorly drained sandy loam soils that are inundated by water in the wet season. (DEWHA 2008)
Flowering occurs from November to March and reproduction is entirely by seed. The species grows as an individual or in small loose groups. A single tuber is produced annually from that of the previous season. (DEWHA 2008)
Threatening processes
Possibly habitat loss (clearing for sugar cane etc.).
Contributors: Weslawa Misiak 18/09/1998; Peter Bostock, Mellisa Mayhew 13/03/2009
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Corunastylis tecta in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 01/10/2008.
Dockrill, A.W. (1992). Australian Indigenous Orchids. Volume 1 & 2. Surrey Beatty & Sons in association with The Society for Growing Australian Plants, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Herbrecs (2008). Genoplesium tectum, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 01/10/2008.
Lavarack, P.S. & Gray, B. (1985). Tropical Orchids of Australia. Nelson, Melbourne.
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