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Golden cowslips facts for kids

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Golden cowslips
Diuris behrii.jpg
Diuris behrii growing near Smythesdale
Scientific classification

Diuris behrii, commonly known as golden cowslips, is a species of orchid which is endemic to eastern Australia. It occurs in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It has between three and six grass-like leaves and a flowering stem with up to four drooping, yellow flowers with dark streaks on the labellum. The flowers appear between September and November in its native range.


Diuris behrii is a tuberous, perennial herb with between three and six grass-like, narrow linear leaves up to 200 mm (8 in) long. Up to four drooping, bright yellow flowers are borne on a flowering stem up to 500 mm (20 in) tall. The pedicel of each flower is enclosed in a bract. The dorsal sepal is egg-shaped, up to 17 mm (0.7 in) long and leans forwards. It has dark streaks similar to those on the labellum. The lateral sepals are greenish, linear to lance-shaped, up to 25 mm (1 in) long and turn downwards and parallel to each other. The petals spread sideways or droop and are narrow egg-shaped to elliptic, up to 25 mm (1 in) long on a green, stalk-like "claw". The labellum is up to 28 mm (1 in) long, often has brownish streaks, and has three lobes. The centre lobe is a broad wedge shape, often with irregular edges. The lateral lobes are small and oblong with toothed edges. There are two ridge-like calli about 5 mm (0.2 in) long near the mid-line of the labellum. Flowering occurs from September to November.

Taxonomy and naming

Diuris behrii was first formally described in 1847 by Diederich Franz Leonhard von Schlechtendal who published his description in Linnaea: ein Journal für die Botanik in ihrem ganzen Umfange, oder Beiträge zur Pflanzenkunde. The specific epithet (behrii) honours the German-American botanist, Hans Hermann Behr.

Distribution and habitat

The golden cowslip orchid grows in grassland and woodland mostly in western Victoria but is also found in south-eastern South Australia and on the slopes and tablelands of New South Wales, including the Australian Capital Territory.

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