Urochilus sanguineus – Maroon Banded Greenhood
This species used to be listed as a Pterostylis, and is similar strucurally to the Bunochilus. Often it is found with Bunochilus, but they have not been known to hybridize. It has a labellum which is sensitive to touch. The plant will either produce a flowering stem, or a sterile leaf.
This species flowers from May to September, and can be found in most regions of South Australia, as well as Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. It is believed that this plant may have originated from the west, as most Urochilus species are endemic to Western Australia. South Australia only has this species.
Quite often I’ve seen a variety of heights of these orchids, on the same site, at the same time. This is mainly due to the nutrients of the soil where the plants are growing. The dwaft plants are called ‘depauperate’. Another feature of these orchids is they can grow in clumps or as a single plant.
The flowers can be difficult to photograph as they are very darkly coloured. However with the afternoon sun coming through them they are beautiful. Taking photos of them with a flash makes these flowers almost look black, and hides the loveliness of these flowers.
I’ve provided two pictures below of this species, the first from the southern and the second from the northern Mt. Lofty Ranges to show there is really no difference despite location. Overall the species only varies in height, and the flowers fade with age.