Eriochilus pulchellus

Eriochilus pulchellus, commonly known as the granite bunny orchid,[2] is a plant in the orchid family Orchidaceae and is endemic to Western Australia. It has a single egg-shaped leaf and up to ten small white flowers with red markings. A relatively common species, it grows in shallow soil on granite outcrops. Its fleshy leaf is held above the ground on a thin stalk.

Granite bunny orchid
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Genus: Eriochilus
E. pulchellus
Binomial name
Eriochilus pulchellus


Eriochilus pulchellus is a terrestrial, perennial, deciduous, herb with an underground tuber and a single, egg-shaped to oval leaf 5–15 mm (0.2–0.6 in) long and 3–8 mm (0.1–0.3 in) wide. The leaf is held above the ground on a thin stalk 20–70 mm (0.8–3 in) long. Up to ten white flowers with a few red markings, about 10 mm (0.4 in) long and 8 mm (0.3 in) wide are borne on a stem, 20–150 mm (0.8–6 in) tall. The dorsal sepal is egg-shaped with the narrower end towards the base, 7–9 mm (0.3–0.4 in) long and 2–3 mm (0.08–0.1 in) wide. The lateral sepals are 10–17 mm (0.4–0.7 in) long, 3–4 mm (0.1–0.2 in) wide and spread forwards. The petals are dull green with red tips and edges and are 7–9 mm (0.3–0.4 in) long and about 1 mm (0.04 in) wide. The labellum is 7–10 mm (0.3–0.4 in) long, about 3 mm (0.1 in) wide and has three lobes. The middle lobe is 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and is fleshy with dark red bristles. Flowering occurs from April to May.[2][3][4][5][6]

Taxonomy and namingEdit

Eriochilus pulchellus was first formally described in 2006 by Stephen Hopper and Andrew Brown from a specimen collected near Manjimup and the description was published in Nuytsia.[7] The specific epithet (pulchellus) is the diminutive form of the Latin word meaning "beautiful", hence "beautiful little",[8] referring to the flowers of this orchid.[4]

Distribution and habitatEdit

The granite bunny orchid grows on granite outcrops between Windy Harbour and Albany, between Esperance and Israelite Bay and in the Darling Range near Perth.[3][4][5][9]


Eriochilus pulchellus is classified as "not threatened" by the Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.[9]


  1. ^ "Eriochilus pulchellus". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  2. ^ a b Jones, David L. (2006). A complete guide to native orchids of Australia including the island territories. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: New Holland. p. 277. ISBN 1877069124.
  3. ^ a b Hopper, Stephen; Brown, Andrew Phillip (2006). "New and reinstated taxa in Eriochilus" (PDF). Nuytsia. 16 (1): 48–49. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Brown, Andrew; Dundas, Pat; Dixon, Kingsley; Hopper, Stephen (2008). Orchids of Western Australia. Crawley, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. p. 260. ISBN 9780980296457.
  5. ^ a b Hoffman, Noel; Brown, Andrew (2011). Orchids of South-West Australia (3rd ed.). Gooseberry Hill: Noel Hoffman. p. 227. ISBN 9780646562322.
  6. ^ Archer, William. "Pretty bunny orchid - Eriochilus pulchellus". Esperance Wildflowers. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Eriochilus pulchellus". APNI. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  8. ^ Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 132.
  9. ^ a b "Eriochilus pulchellus". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.