Geodorum densiflorum – Shepherds Crook Orchid: A joyful gift from nature

You won’t find this little beauty in a nursery, but if you are like me, and other Marcus Beach Bushcarers who still have remnant native vegetation on their block, you may just discover one in your garden over summer.

This terrestrial orchid, which grows to 40cm and is dormant over winter, likes well drained sandy soils at low altitude. Geodorum densiflorum has distinctive pleated leaves, and the pseudobulbs together with the bell shaped flower, make it look like a lily – until you look into tubular bells at the deep pink orchid structure inside.

A combination of rain and warmth this summer has produced perfect conditions for Shepherds Crook Orchids, which are flowering profusely in the sandy reserves this year.

These little gems are popping up where previously the asparagus fern was so dense that you would not have been able to find them; it feels like Nature’s thank-you to those of us that care enough to release them from the weeds.


Occurs in the Kimberley region in Western Australia, in the northern parts of Northern Territory and from Cape York, Queensland to the Mackay River, New South Wales where is is listed as endangered. 

Altitude: 0-1100 m.

Also distributed extensively throughout the Pacific, occuring in New Caledonia, New Guinea and Indonesia, and across South East Asia to Japan. It also occurs in Sri Lanka. 

4 Replies to “Geodorum densiflorum – Shepherds Crook Orchid: A joyful gift from nature”

  1. These are beautiful. My husband discovered them walking through the bush on bribie. They are growing along the fire break tracks. Being a national park I cant just dig up to plant. I scoured the internet to find out what they were called. Im wanting to plant some in my garden so I will be sourcing the internet. Any ideas where I can buy them.
    Cheers Caroline

    • Hi Caroline, I live in Mareeba near Cairns and I have these little gems in my garden,I started with one bulb and ten yrs later I have them all through it. If you would like one let me know and when they finish flowering and die down I can send you one and some seeds too if you like. The seeds are more like dust and very fine, the wind will catch them and next thing you know they will be popping up all over the place..

    • Hi Kym,
      It’s great to know that you can buy this beautiful little plant in Sarina. I will have a chat to our Landcare Nursery,though I’m pretty sure they don’t have it in stock. I’m guessing it’s a plant you have to have a licence to collect.
      Best wishes and thanks,

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