Stirling Range National Park Native OrchidsCaladenia barbarossa (Dragon Orchid) Cryptostylis ovata (Slipper Orchid) Caladenia polychroma (Joseph’s Spider Orchid) Caladenia pulchra (Slender Spider Orchid) Drakaea glyptodon (King-in-his-carriage Orchid) Elythranthera emarginata (Pink Enamel Orchids) Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid) Praecoxanthus aphyllus (Leafless Orchid) Thelymitra speciosa (Eastern Queen of Sheba’s)

— see Orchidaceae (Orchids)

The only member of the genus Leptoceras, species Leptoceras menziesii, common names including Rabbit Orchid, Hare’s Ears Orchid and Hare Orchid.

This orchid is named after Archibald Menzies (1754–1842), Scottish surgeon, naturalist and botanist who accompanied Captain George Vancouver on his voyage around the world in H.M.S. Discovery. Menzies collected plants in Western Australia, including orchids.

Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid), Stirling Range National Park WA © Terry Dunham
Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid), Stirling Range National Park WA © Terry Dunham

Caladenia menziesii was one of the first three orchids collected in Western Australia. Archibald Menzies was the collector of the holotype at King George Sound in 1791 during the Vancouver Expedition. It was first formally described by Robert Brown and the description was published in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen. In 1840, John Lindley changed the name to Leptoceras menziesii in The Genera and Species of Orchidaceous Plants. Some herbaria continue to use the old name. The specific epithet (menziesii) honours Archibald Menzies.

Source: Wikipedia6
Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid), Stirling Range National Park WA © Terry Dunham
Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid), Stirling Range National Park WA © Terry Dunham

It is a slender looking plant, with a single, broad leaf, usually held on or very close to the ground. The orchids is usually found in large colonies, especially flowering after fire. The flowers are small, white, pink and red, held erect on a stem up to 30 cm tall. There sometimes can be 1-3 short stalked flowers on the single stem. The distinctive flower have two long, narrow, club-shaped, redd petals that are held upright (giving it the common name of Rabbit Orchid and Hare’s Ears Orchid). The flower has two broad, white sepals, that are held forward.

Endemic to southern Australia, found in Victoria, Tasmania, southern South Australia and the south-west region of Western Australia.

Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid), Stirling Range National Park WA © Terry Dunham
Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid), Stirling Range National Park WA © Terry Dunham
Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid), Stirling Range National Park WA © Terry Dunham
Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid), Stirling Range National Park WA © Terry Dunham

Photographs © Terry Dunham


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Charophyta
  • Class: Equisetopsida
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae
  • Superorder: Lilianae
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Genus: Caladenia
  • Species: Caladenia polychroma

Footnote & References

  1. Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchids), Stirling Range National Park WA. Photographs © Terry Dunham
  2. Leptoceras menziesii (R.Br.) Lindl., Hare’s Ears Orchid, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://id.biodiversity.org.au/taxon/apni/51406465
  3. Profile collections – Atlas of Living Australia, D.L. Jones. Leptoceras menziesii, in P.G. Kodela (ed.), Flora of Australia. Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water: Canberra. https://profiles.ala.org.au/opus/foa/profile/Leptoceras%20menziesii [Date Accessed: 06 October 2023]
  4. Rabbit Orchid (Leptoceras menziesii), iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/323922-Leptoceras-menziesii
  5. Leptoceras menziesii (R.Br.) Lindl., Rabbit Orchid, Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). Florabase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Accessed 6 October 2023), https://florabase.dbca.wa.gov.au/browse/profile.php/15418
  6. Leptoceras, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptoceras
  7. Leptoceras – Rabbit Orchid, Orchids of South-West Australia, https://chookman.id.au/wp_orchids/?page_id=589

Stirling Range National Park Native OrchidsCaladenia barbarossa (Dragon Orchid) Cryptostylis ovata (Slipper Orchid) Caladenia polychroma (Joseph’s Spider Orchid) Caladenia pulchra (Slender Spider Orchid) Drakaea glyptodon (King-in-his-carriage Orchid) Elythranthera emarginata (Pink Enamel Orchids) Leptoceras menziesii (Rabbit Orchid) Praecoxanthus aphyllus (Leafless Orchid) Thelymitra speciosa (Eastern Queen of Sheba’s)

Stirling Range National Park FloraAnigozanthos rufus (Red Kangaroo Paw) Banksia aculeata (Prickly Banksia) Banksia oreophila (Mountain Banksia) Banksia sphaerocarpa var sphaerocarpa (Fox Banksia) Darwinia wittwerorum (Wittwer’s Mountain Bell) Daviesia oppositifolia (Rattle-pea) Eucalyptus preissiana (Bell-fruited Mallee) Eucalyptus macrandra (Long-flowered Marlock) Eucalyptus uncinata (Hook-leaved Mallee) Hakea cucullata (Hood Leaved Hakea) Hakea lehmanniana (Blue Hakea) Native Orchids

Stirling Range National ParkFauna Flora Landscape

Western AustraliaWestern Australia Fauna The Batavia Coast and Midwest WA Bungle Bungles – Purnululu National Park Great Southern WA Stirling Range National Park