Yellow Swamp-orchid  |  

Phaius bernaysii

Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list

Phaius bernaysii, Family Orchidaceae, also known as Yellow Swamp Orchid, is a ground
orchid growing up to 2 m tall (in flower) and forming clumps up to 1 m wide. Pseudobulbs
are crowded, 50Ð70 mm long by 50Ð70 mm wide. The 4Ð7 leaves are dark green and pleated,
50Ð125 cm long and 8Ð10 cm wide. Flower spikes are to 2 m tall, stout, with 4Ð16 flowers.
Flowers are fleshy, 6Ð10 cm long by 6.5Ð11 cm wide, sulphur-yellow internally and white
externally. The lateral lobes of the labellum are usually incurved beside the column,
sometimes extending above the column but not forming a tight coherent tube. Flowering
occurs from September to November (Jones, 2006).
This species differs from P. australis in the flower colour, and is indistinguishable from this
species when not in flower (Bostock & Thomas, 1992; Sparshott & Bostock, 1993). Recent
genetic analysis suggests that Australian Phaius spp. should be classified as a single species
(Harrison et al., 2005).

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Phaius bernaysii

    These weeds threaten P. bernaysii either by direct competition or by altering the habitat through lowering the water table or altering fuel loads; and therefore fire regimes.