Taeniophyllum norfolkianum


Taeniophyllum norfolkianum
Minute Orchid, Ribbon-Root Orchid
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PLANT: Small leafless epiphyte.
Roots flat and pale green, 2mm wide x 25mm long, radiating from a central crown.

LEAVES: None. The roots contain chloroplasts and function as leaves.

FLOWERS: Raceme of 4 to 12 greenish flowers that open one at a time. Flowers are tubular at the base with spreading tips, 2.2 mm long x 1.5 mm wide. Seed capsules grow to 10 mm in length. Buds, flowers and capsules may all be present at the same time.

September - December?

HABITAT: To date, only recorded growing on Gorse bushes near Waipu.

CONSERVATION STATUS: Not officially recorded. Currently 140 plants have been recorded from only one location.

NOTES: Taeniophyllum norfolkianum was previously considered endemic to Norfolk Island, where it grows on the underside of branches of the Norfolk Pine. It is also rare on Norfolk Island, less than 500 mature plants were recorded there in 2003.
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