- leaves are long and fleshy, lance-shaped at the end and tube-like at the base
- flower spike upright to a height of 20-50cm
- flower spikes comprise 6-18 flowers
- flower colour is iridescent greyish-green with pinkish tints, sometimes brown with a metallic lustre.
- flowers September to November
- seeds are released in December
- plant becomes dormant from the end of December to February.
Metallic sun-orchid is listed as nationally endangered – approximately 250 plants recorded in the Murraylands and Riverland region.
- grazing (kangaroos, stock and rabbits)
- possibly caterpillars and snails
- weed competition (bridal creeper and perennial veldt grass)
- small population size
- fire (either too frequent or not frequent enough)
- illegal plant collection and flower picking.
Found in open woodland or mallee habitats. In woodland habitats, the overstorey is dominated by:
- blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp. leucoxylon)
- southern cypress pine (Callitris preissii)
- drooping sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata).
In mallee communities, the overstorey is dominated by:
- coastal white mallee (Eucalyptus diversifolia)
The undergrowth is typically dominated by native heaths and sedges including:
- muntries (Kunzea pomifera)
- black rapier-sedge (Lepidosperma carphoides).
A scattered distribution in South Australia and Victoria. In the Murraylands and Riverland region populations can be found near:
- Tailem Bend
- Meningie and Coorong.
How you can help
Please be aware of native plants and help preserve them by:
- preventing damage caused by grazing
- preventing removal/illegal collection
- controlling weeds to reduce competition
- taking a photo instead of picking native flowers
- volunteering with the Murraylands and Riverland region or joining your local native vegetation group
- reporting any sightings of these endangered plants to our offices (contact details below).