Elythranthera

Elythranthera is a genus in the Orchidaceae family endemic to Western Australia. The two species are terrestrial, growing from tubers, and with a solitary hairy leaf and one to three flowers on the hairy erect stem. For more information about this genus consult the Species Orchid Society of Western Australia


Elythranthera brunonis, commonly known as the purple enamel orchid, is found in coastal woodlands and sand plains in southwestern Western Australia. Plants grow from 15 to 40 cm. tall. Flowers are from 1 to 3 cm. long and wide. The upper surface of the sepals is a glossy purple and the lower surface is spotted purple or reddish purple. It blooms in spring. The pictures below were taken by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner September 2007 several different days in areas within an hour’s drive of Albany, Western Australia. We found variation in the color of the flowers and even some that looked pink, instead of purple, but appeared to be this species.

Elythranthera brunonis, Albany, Bob RutemoellerElythranthera brunonis, Albany, Mary Sue IttnerElythranthera brunonis, Mary Sue IttnerElythranthera brunonis,Stirling Range National Park, Mary Sue IttnerElythranthera brunonis back, Stirling Range National Park, Mary Sue Ittner

Elythranthera emarginata, the pink enamel orchid, has pink shiny flowers a little larger than the other species. It grows to about 20 cm. tall and has flowers that are about 35 mm. across. Also endemic to southwestern Australia, it is found on coastal plains and in open woods and rocky slopes. It too flowers in spring, usually a little later than the other species. The picture below was taken by Bob Rutemoeller at a wildflower show in Albany, Western Australia September 2007.

Elythranthera emarginata, Bob Rutemoeller

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