These distinctive orchids have a very hairy labellum, which gives them their name. There are four species found in the south-west of Western Australia. Three of them have flowers that are identical in appearance, the species being distinguished by habitat and plant height.
Calochilus stramenicola - Wandoo Beard Orchid
The Wandoo Beard Orchid is found between Dryandra and York and is found in deep leaf litter under Wandoo trees, usually on rocky breakaway slopes. Plants range from 15-25cm in height with up to 6 flowers.
Calochilus uliginosa - Swamp Beard Orchid
The Swamp Beard Orchid has flowers that are mostly identical to those of the Wandoo Beard Orchid. It differs in being found in swampy habitats in the Lower South West. It can also have much taller plants, up to 50cm in height.
Calochilus sp. 'Boyup' - Boyup Beard Orchid
The Boyup Beard Orchid also has flowers that are mostly identical to both the Wandoo and Swamp Beard Orchids. It differs in being found in well drained sandy soils in Jarrah Marri forest. It is known from just one location.
Calochilus pruinosus - Mallee Beard Orchid
The Mallee Beard Orchid is quite different in appearance to the other beard orchids in the South-west. The flowers have a less hairy appearance and often do not have leaves. It is found in isolated colonies in coastal habitats between Hopetoun and the South Australian border.