T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Microtis unifolia (Common Onion Orchid)

Kingdom:Plantae
(unranked):Angiosperms
(unranked):Monocots
Order:Asparagales
Family:Orchidaceae
Subfamily:Orchidoideae
Tribe:Diureae
Subtribe:Prasophyllinae
Genus:Microtis
Species: Microtis unifolia   Synonyms: Microtis porrifolia
Common name: Common Onion Orchid

Microtis unifolia is a slender to robust terrestrial tuberous herb, usually 20–60 cm high with a single tubular leaf  8–60 cm long.  The flower stem emerging from within the leaf about one third to half way up the leaf. 
The flower stem can go up to a meter high. This stem can have 5 - 40 flowers per raceme and are numerous and closely spaced. The 3cm wide flowers are green to yellow-green in colour and are dorsal sepal hooded with a pointed tip. The lateral sepals curled backwards. The labellumis is irregular oblong with a very coarse edge. It is narrowest at its mid-length. The stigma is not wider than the column. It flowers September to December and  is common and  found growing in rough grassland.

Photographed Novermber with stalk and flower raceme


Microtis unifolia raceme


The small 3 mm flower