Pyrorchis nigricansCommon name: Red Beaks or Elephants’ Ears
Meaning of name: The origin of Pyrorchis is not known. Nigricans is from the Latin word niger, meaning black. Botanically it means becoming black or blackish. It refers to the blackened appearance of the pressed flowers.
Aboriginal name: Djubak.
Aboriginal use: The tubers of Pyrorchis nigricans were eaten raw or roasted.
Distribution: Occurs from Shark Bay to Israelite Bay.
Description: Up to 8 deep red flowers are held up to 30cm high above a single fleshy leaf. The leaf can be up to 14cm long by 8cm wide.
Notes: This plant does not flower regularly and is usually identified by its distinctive leaf.
References: Western Australian Plant Names and their Meanings, a Glossary. FA Sharp. 1996.
Orchids of South-West Australia. Noel Hoffman & Andrew Brown. 1992.
Bush Tucker Plants of the South-West. B Daw, T Walley, G Keighery. 1997.