Angus's Onion Orchid - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Microtis angusii
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Gazetted date: 06 Jun 1997
Profile last updated: 07 May 2018


A terrestrial orchid. Microtis species are commonly called 'onion orchids'. This refers to the leaves which are cylindrical like those of plants of the onion family. Grows to 25 - 60 cm tall with green, linear cylindrical and tapering leaves from 40 - 140 cm long and 4 - 8 mm wide. The leaves are usually much longer than the flowering stem which emerges from the leaf at about 12 - 20 cm above the soil. The flowering stem is 8 - 18 cm long and bears 20 - 60 small green flowers. Each flower is about 2.5 mm in diameter and bears a short, sharp but soft point, and is hood shaped. The flower is made up of two whorled sections, one within the other.


Currently known from only one site at Ingleside, north of Sydney. A collection previously thought to be this species was made from Sunny Corner 100 km west of Sydney, but has since been confirmed as being genetically distinct and may possibly be a subspecies.

Habitat and ecology

  • It is not easy to define the preferred natural habitat of this orchid as the Ingleside location is highly disturbed. The dominant species occurring on the site are introduced weeds Hyparrhenia hirta (Coolatai grass) and Acacia saligna.
  • The Ingleside population occurs on soils that have been modified but were originally those of the restricted ridgetop lateritic soils in the Duffys Forest - Terrey Hills - Ingleside and Belrose areas. These soils support a specific and distinct vegetation type, the Duffys Forest Vegetation Community which is listed as an endangered ecological community under the TSC Act and ranges from open forest to low open forest and rarely woodland.
  • Exists as subterranean tubers during most of the year. Produces leaves and then flowering stems in late winter and spring and flowers from May to October. By summer, the above ground parts have withered leaving no parts above ground.
  • Most Microtis species reproduce vegetatively by the formation of “daughter” tubers from the main tuber.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None