Leporella fimbriata – Fringed Hare Orchid
This common orchid is found in sandy soils flowering mainly from March to May. However it can grow in gravelly soils, but requires fire to encourage flowering, where as colonies will flower readily in sandy soils. This species like many of Australia’s orchids, is endemic to Australia, and can be found from the west to the east of the country, across the southern band of the continent.
Its Latin species name, fimbriata, refers to its fringed labellum, or the lip of the flower. Its flower will appear before its leaves. The leaves of this species are very distinct and beautiful, with vivid red stripes and red edging contrasted against a green with a hint of blue. The leaves on there own are very spectacular. The leaves are very stiff.
Upon seeing a photograph of these orchids, it is easy to be deceived by their size. The height of a flower is just over 2cm, while the flower is only 1cm wide. The whole flower would fit into a postage stamp! The flower stem will be between 15cm to 20cm tall, but less rain may cause it to be stunted.