Dockrillia linguiformis – Tongue Orchid

Dockrillia is one of the easy to grow Australian native orchids for warm areas. It occurs naturally along the east coast from north Queensland to southern NSW.  It flowers from creamy white to yellow in spring. It is epiphytic and lithophytic, meaning it can grow on trees or rocks in nature, but the home gardener can grow it on either of these or attach them to cork slabs. It does not like to be grown in pots. Water daily in hot weather but decrease watering in winter, which may help to stimulate spring flowering. Fertilising is not a necessity, but small doses of an orchid fertilizer in spring can help if flowering is decreasing. This plant used to be known as Dendrobium linguiforme.

Scientific Name:Dockrillia linguiformis
Common Name:Tongue orchid
Other Common Names:Thumbnail orchid
Plant Type:Orchid
Height:0.1 ~ 0.4 metres
Width:0.3 ~ 0.6 metres
Flower Colour:White, Cream, Yellow
Flowering Time:Spring
Ph Level:Acid, Neutral
Plant Environment:Courtyard, Flower garden
Climate Zone:Tropical, Sub-tropical, Warm temperate, Mediterranean
Light:Light shade, Half shade
Growth Habit:Evergreen, Spreading
Soil Moisture:Well-drained, Needs regular watering
Propagation Method:Division
Frost Tolerance:Not frost tolerant
Plant Usage:Feature plant, Wow factor






Once you have found the plant that you want, the next step is to find where to get it. Visit or ring your favourite nursery to see if they have it in stock. If they don’t, they may be able to order it in for you.  Specialist nurseries are also able to give great advice, and if they don’t have the plant you want, they can often suggest an alternative to you. Below is a list of our favourite specialist nurseries, and some who do mail order. Click on the links for their details-


The Wildflower Place Erina – NSW 


Sydney Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Newcastle Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Cool Country Natives – ACT


Geelong Native Plants – Victoria


Wimmera Native Nursery – Victoria


Zanthorrea Nursery – Perth WA


Manuka Native Nursery – South Australia


Sydney Wildflower Nursery – mail order


The Native Shop – mail order




Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for native plants.