Microtis from the Greek 'mikros' meaning small and 'otos' meaning ear; in reference to the small ear-like column wings. Eremaea from Latin meaning desert or lonely places, alluding to the inland habitat of the species.
Distribution and status
Found on the Eyre Peninsula, northern Flinders Ranges and the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing on rock outcrops and along ephemeral watercourses. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Rigidly erect terrestrial orchid to 40 cm high, dull green with erect linear, hollow-terete leaves to 50 mm long and 7 mm diameter. Inflorescence a narrow conical spike to 8 cm long with numerous, dense, very small, green flowers. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are numerous small pale brown papery capsule. Seeds are very tiny pale brown seeds.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between November and December. Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules. Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.