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.

Distribution

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. 

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