Plant of the Month
April 2022

POTM

Praecoxanthus aphyllus (Benth.) Hopper & A.P.Br.

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Praecoxanthus aphyllus (Leafless Orchid) grows to 20–40 cm high and produces a single, highly fragrant flower from March to May, making it one of the first orchids to flower in the year. Flowers are creamy white and feature an eye-catching purple, green and yellow labellum.

As the common name suggests, leaves are reduced to a tiny bract at the base of the flowering stem; normal leaves are only produced by immature, nonflowering (vegetative) plants.

The Leafless Orchid occurs between Pinjarra and Albany and along the costal strip from Albany to Esperance, where it grows in sandy soils in Banksia, Allocasuarina and Jarrah woodland.

Praecoxanthus is a monotypic genus, meaning that it includes only the single species P. aphyllus.

Photo: R. Davis

Find out more about Praecoxanthus aphyllus (Benth.) Hopper & A.P.Br.