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Gastrodia procera facts for kids

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Tall potato orchid
Gastrodia procera (Tall Potato-orchid) (24971475576) - cropped 1.jpg
Gastrodia procera flowers
Scientific classification

Gastrodia procera, commonly known as the tall potato orchid, is a leafless terrestrial mycotrophic orchid in the family Orchidaceae. It has a robust, dark brown to blackish flowering stem with up to seventy cinnamon brown, tube-shaped flowers that are white inside. It grows in high rainfall forest in southeastern Australia.


Gastrodia procera is a leafless terrestrial, mycotrophic herb that has a robust, dark brown to blackish flowering stem 60–120 cm (20–50 in) tall bearing between five and seventy cinnamon brown, tube-shaped flowers that are warty outside and white inside. The sepals and petals are joined, forming a tube 10–12 mm (0.4–0.5 in) long. The petals have wavy edges. The labellum is 14–17 mm (0.6–0.7 in) long, 5–8 mm (0.20–0.31 in) wide and white with orange-coloured edges. Flowering occurs from December to January and flowering is enhanced by fire the previous summer.

Taxonomy and naming

Gastrodia procera was first formally described in 1991 by Geoffrey William Carr from a specimen collected in the Dandenong Ranges near Albany in 1958. The description was published in the Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association Miscellaneous Paper. The specific epithet (procera) is a Latin word meaning "tall", "slender" or "long".

Distribution and habitat

The tall potato orchid is widespread and common in high rainfall forest south from the Barrington Tops in New South Wales, through the Australian Capital Territory and southeastern Victoria to Tasmania.

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