Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Dendrobium speciosum


Rock Lily

Wargaldarra (wer-gal-derra) and buruwan (baaa-ro-wan) to Eora people.

The small underground tubers and stems of many orchids can be consumed raw or after roasting.


The Rock Lily is an orchid that has succulent spreading stemps thickest near the base and tapering markedly towards the top. Its roots are smooth and creeping and its leaves are smooth and leathery. Beautiful flower spikes appear in August through to October and contain 20-115 light yellow flowers.

Where it is found

This orchid usually grows on rocks in open forest, particularly on sandstone. Occasionally it also grows on the branches of rainforest trees. In New South Wales it is found chiefly in coastal districts south from the Newcastle area into Victoria and inland to the upper Hunter Valley.


  • The starchy stems are roasted and eaten
  • Stems from a variety of Dendrobium species are chewed and rubbed into sores, burns and wounds.

Further information

Click here for further information on Dendrobium speciosum.

Dendrobium speciosum
The starchy stems of the rock Lily (Dendrobium speciosum) are edible. The stems from a variety of other species of Dendrobium are crushed and applied to sores, wounds and burns.

Dendrobium speciosum: habit.