Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pseudovanilla foliata (F.Muell.) Garay

Slender Vine
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Flower. © CSIRO
Habit and flowers. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Fruit. © CSIRO
Leaf. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Garay, L.A. (1986) Botanical Museum Leaflets of Harvard University 30 : 235.

Common name

Orchid, Large Climbing; Large Climbing Orchid; Orchid, Giant Climbing


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm, climbing by means of adventitious roots produced at the nodes.


Leaf blades often yellowish, lacking chlorophyll, somewhat fleshy, +/- orbicular, about 4.5-6 x 1-3.7 cm. Venation longitudinal and parallel with three to five veins more prominent than the rest.


Inflorescence large and showy bearing 150 or more flowers. Flowers about 50-60 mm diam. Sepals linear, about 23-25 x 5-9 mm. Labellum red except for the yellow margin, about 20 x 17 mm, channelled at the base and expanded at the apex. Stamen and stigma fused to form a column about 12 mm long. Anther about 2.5-3 x 2 mm. Ovary about 10 mm long. Stigmatic surface about 2 x 2 mm.


Fruits about 19-27 x 1-1.2 cm, splitting along the sides but the segments remaining attached at the base and the apex. Seeds very numerous, winged around the margin. Each seed about 1.5 mm diam. including the wing.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest and is +/- saprophytic deriving nourishment from rotting wood in old stumps, logs, etc. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Although plants are not completely devoid of chlorophyll, they are generally accepted as being saprophytic and field evidence supports this contention as plants are usually found near large rotting stumps.

Galeola foliata (F.Muell.) F.Muell., Fragm. Phyto. Aust. 8: 31(1873). Ledgeria foliata F.Muell., Fragm. 2: 167(1861), Type: Queensland, Pine River, E. Fifzalan; holo: MEL.
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