The Northern Leek-orchid is a deciduous terrestrial herb 12-35 cm tall. Underground tubers are round to oval with attached irregular, fleshy roots. A single pale to dark green leaf, purple-reddish at the base, begins growth in early winter. At the side of this leaf, a flower spike emerges bearing 9-30 flower heads held upside down on a dense spike 8-14 cm long. Flowers are fragrant, produce copious amounts of nectar, 7-9 mm long and 4-5 mm wide, light brown, with a brown central line on the petals, and a whitish labellum with wavy or frilly margins. Lateral sepals are not united. The petals are 4.5-5.5 mm long and 1.3 mm wide. The labellum is abruptly recurved at more than right angles near the middle, the apex often protruding through the lateral sepals, and the upper surface and margins are covered with small elongate papillae. The labellum has slightly irregular margins. The fleshy green callus on the labellum is broadly channelled and covered with small papillae. It extends just beyond the bend on the labellum.
Northern Leek-orchid |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Prasophyllum secutum
Fire Fire potential future Infrequent fire events are a potential threat to frequency the northern leek orchid.
The longevity of tubers is not known but it is assumed to be comparable with the natural fire frequency of near coastal vegetation (perhaps 6 15 years).