Earina autumnalis (Easter Orchid)
Binomial name: Earina autumnalis
Common name: Easter Orchid, Raupeka
Earina autumnalis is a species of orchid that is endemic to New Zealand. Its small white flowers produce a strong fragrance - a generally pleasant scent which is often compared to vanilla in nature. The white, waxy flowers have yellow or orange markings on the labellum and column. The panicles are up to 10cm long with many flowers 5mm across during February to May. Its stems are up to 80cm long. These are erect if short and droop down if long. Its roots are fibrous rhizomes. The shiny dark green leaves are 4-12cm long and 5-8mm wide they are widest near the base, narrowing towards the tip.
It generally occurs as an epiphyte or lithophyte (Lithophytes are a type of plant that grows in or on rocks. Lithophytes feed off moss, nutrients in rainwater and litter) When growing as an epiphyte it frequently grows in close association with other endemic orchid species such as Winika cunninghamii.