Cryptostylis_subulata.JPG (83749 bytes)Cryptostylis subulata: is a member of the Orchidaceae family and is known as the Large Tongue Orchid.

Cryptostylis subulata is a tall terrestrial orchid that may reach a height of 60 centimetres. The stem grows from wide-spreading, long, thin underground tubers.

There are two or three leaves that are long-stalked, lanceolate with a prominent mid-rib. They are up to 12 centimetres long by 1.5 centimetres wide.

There are usually three to eight flowers. Each bloom has a large, yellowish-brown, upside down labellum (the petal in front of the column). Flowering occurs from October to May.

Cryptostylis subulata is a common and widespread orchid. The Large Tongue Orchid is usually found in moist, swampy areas and occurs in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. The specimen illustrated was photographed in Bouddi National Park, north of Sydney, in October 2009.

Apparently Cryptostylis subulata is popular in cultivation, as a container plant, because it grows and flowers very easily. In summer, growth will be improved by standing the container in a saucer of water. Specimens will respond to feeding with liquid fertilizer. The Large Tongue Orchid may have potential as a bog plant. Protect plants from slugs and snails.

Propagate from offsets that grow along the tubers.