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Gastrodia entomogama facts for kids

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Brindabella potato orchid
Gastrodia entomogama.jpg
Gastrodia entomogama in the Namadgi National Park
Scientific classification
Genus:
Gastrodia
Species:
entomogama

Gastrodia entomogama, commonly known as the Brindabella potato orchid, is a leafless terrestrial mycotrophic orchid in the family Orchidaceae. It has a dark brown or blackish flowering stem with up to sixty brown, warty, tube-shaped flowers. It is only known for certain from the Australian Capital Territory.

Description

Gastrodia entomogama is a leafless terrestrial, mycotrophic herb that has a thick, fleshy, brittle, dark brown to blackish flowering stem bearing between five and sixty light brown to dark brown, tube-shaped flowers that are rough and warty outside and white inside. The sepals and petals are joined, forming a tube 15–20 mm (0.6–0.8 in) long. The petals have irregular or wavy edges. The labellum is 14–17 mm (0.6–0.7 in) long, 6.5–8 mm (0.26–0.31 in) wide and white with orange-coloured edges. Flowering occurs from December to January but the flowers are self-pollinating.

Taxonomy and naming

Gastrodia entomogama was first formally described in 1991 by David Jones from a specimen he collected on Mount Franklin in 1990. The description was published in Australian Orchid Research. The specific epithet (entomogama) is derived from the Ancient Greek words entomon meaning "insect" and gamos meaning "marriage" or "union", referring to the flowers originally being described as insect-pollinated.

Distribution and habitat

The Brindabella potato orchid grows with shrubs and grasses in forest. It is only known for certain from a few locations in the Australian Capital Territory.

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