Orchids Wiki

Sarcochilus fitzgeraldii plate.jpg
Sarcochilus fitzgeraldii plate from
Australian Orchids

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Vandeae
SubTribe: Aeridinae
Alliance: Phalaenopsis
Genus: Sarcochilus
R. Brown 1810
Type Species
Sarcochilus falcatus

The genus Sarcochilus, abbreviated as Sarco in horticultural trade, is a member of the Orchid family


The genus consist of around 25 species endemic to Northern Australia, Eastern Australia, Tasmania and New Caledonia.


These are epiphytic or lithophytic orchids with leaves originating from a pseudobulb. The axillary, racemose inflorescence is pendant to arching with a few to many, successive opening flowers with free petals and sepals. The colour of the flowers is variable and goes from pure white (S. falcatus) to white and red (S. fitzgeraldii). The trilobed, fleshy labellum is saccate ( = pouch-like) and articulate to the apex of the column foot. The large side lobes are erect and curved. The small midlobe is attached to a short spur. Some of these species can form keikis, forming large clumps with age.


Plants grow in cool to intermediate conditions with moderate lighting. Pot plants in a well drain mix with open drainage such as medium fir bark with pumice or coarce perlite. Water regularly and keep the mix a bit moist but not damp. Plants will need to be watered more often during the summer as temperatures become more warm and less water as the temperatures cool in the winter. Wrinkled leaves indicate lack of watering. Plants like high humidity


The name Sarcochilus is derived from the Greek words sarx ( = flesh) and cheilos ( = lip), referring to the fleshy labellum of these orchids.


  1. Cylindrochilus Thwaites 1861
  2. Grosourdya Rchb. f. 1864
  3. Gunnia Lindley 1834
  4. Parasarcochilus Dockr. 1967
  5. Monanthochilus (Schltr.) R.Rice


  • Sarcochilus aequalis D.L.Jones et M.A.Clem., 1991
  • Sarcochilus australis (Lindl.) Rchb.f. in Walp., 1861 Butterfly Orchid
  • Sarcochilus borealis (Nicholls) M.A.Clem.et D.L.Jones, 1989
  • Sarcochilus ceciliae F.Muell., 1865 Fairy Bells (mostly a lithophyte)
  • Sarcochilus chrysanthus Schltr., 1913
  • Sarcochilus dilatatus F.Muell., 1859 Brown Butterfly Orchid (epiphyte)
  • Sarcochilus falcatus R.Br., 1810 Orange Blossom Orchid (epiphyte)
  • Sarcochilus fitzgeraldii F.Muell., 1870 Ravine Orchid (mainly lithophytic)
  • Sarcochilus gildasii N.Hallé, 1986
  • Sarcochilus hartmannii F.Muell., 1874 Hartmann's Orchid (almost completely lithophytic)
  • Sarcochilus hillii (F.Muell.) F.Muell, 1860
    • Sarcochilus hillii var. hillii.
    • Sarcochilus hillii var. thycolus N.Hallé, 1986
  • Sarcochilus hirticalcar (Dockrill) M.A.Clem. et B.J.Wallace, 1989
  • Sarcochilus iboensis Schltr., 1913
  • Sarcochilus koghiensis Schltr., 1911
  • Sarcochilus odoratus Schltr., 1913
  • Sarcochilus olivaceous Lindl., 1839
  • Sarcochilus parviflorus Lindl. in Edwards’s, 1838
  • Sarcochilus ramuanus (Kraenzl.) Schltr. in K.M.Schumann & C.A.G.Lauterbach, 1905
  • Sarcochilus rarus Schltr., 1906
  • Sarcochilus roseus (Clemesha) Clemesha, 1969 (true lithophyte)
  • Sarcochilus serrulatus D.L.Jones, 1972
  • Sarcochilus spathulatus R.S.Rogers, 1927
  • Sarcochilus tricalliatus (Rupp) Rupp, 1951
  • Sarcochilus uniflorus Schltr., 1913
  • Sarcochilus weinthalii F.M.Bailey, 1903 Blotched Sarcophilus (epiphyte)


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  • Upton, Walter T. (1992). Sarcochilus Orchids of Australia. Double U Orchids, Balmain, 119 p.. ISBN 0646097342.