One of the most sought after terrestrials in Australia, the Swamp Orchid has been heavily collected from some areas. It is now rated as a vulnerable species.
Crowded pseudobulbs sit above the ground and produce dark green, pleated leaves often more than a metre long and up to fifteen centimetres wide. Thus, even when not in flower this is a handsome plant. When the plant displays its long spike of spectacular, beautifully perfumed flowers it is a truly glorious sight. The large buds open progressively up the stem so that the flowering period is well drawn out - usually to several weeks.
Plants grow well in a garden situation that provides them with constant moisture. They do well in full sun, full shade or in dappled light. Phaius also does well as a container plant. Give it a humus-rich, well-drained mix and water regularly.
Atherton Tableland to northern New South Wales, in swampy areas with full sun.