Phaius australis (tancarvilleae) - Swamp Orchid

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.