South Australia is the only state in Australia that does not have any epiphytic orchids. Our state is the driest state in Australia and does not have any rainforests that could offer a suitable condition for them. So here is a video about some orchids that grow across the border in Victoria.
After having four consecutive days of over 40C (104F) heat, I’m pretty sure that there are not many orchids left in flower now. However a weeks ago, the hyacinth orchids were in full glory. Dipodium roseum is one of the most photographed orchids in Australia. It is often found on road side edges which makes it easy to spot.
It is one of the largest terrestrial orchids and can grow a few feet high. It grows around Stringy Bark trees as it needs a special fungi to survive as it has no leaves. Can you spot it/them in the picture below?
This particular species is distinguished by having stripes (rather than spots) on the labellum. The flowers vary from pink to a soft white, and can be growing on either a dark stem on green stem. Personally I prefer the pink flowers on the dark stems and sometimes seem to forget the other variety. Here are two variations growing together.
It is the beginning of autumn, and that means the orchids will start appearing again. True there were a few flowering over summer, but about now we begin to see the leaves of the winter flowering species and some spring flowering orchids, and occasionally we might find a few autumn flowering species.
So today, I’m going to give you a sample of some of the orchids you could find, each month, during this coming year.
Dipodium pardalium is distinguished from D. roseum by the small pink spots, not stripes, found on the labellum. These two species are very similar having the same flower shape and size and growing in the same habitat. However D. pardalium is considered rare in South Australia. Recently I observed that on the Fleurieu Peninsula that this species was more readily found than the common hyacinth. Yet in the Adelaide Hills D. pardalium was hard to find.
The spotted hyacinth orchid is probably my favorite of the two species. Generally it has white flowers covered in dark pink spots. It does not have as much variation as the roseum but sometimes the flowers can have a soft pink colouring and the stems of this species can be dark red right through to green.
These orchids do flower right through our summer and thus experience the hot weather. The orchids struggle on 40 C (104 F) and the flowers can abort. On a good year about a quarter of the flowers will be pollinated. It is suspected that the two Dipodium species in the Adelaide Hills have different pollinators, but more research is required here. However it is pollinated by a small native bee.
In summer there are not many orchids which are found flowering. However the Dipodium family has a couple of species that show themselves during our hot season. The most common of these is the Dipodium roseum which is also the most frequently photographed orchids in the Adelaide Hills.
It can be quite varried, from deep pink through to white flowers, with both colours found on both dark brown stems and green stems. These variations have caused some to suspect that there might be several species, but they all the one species.
This plant distinguishes is by its spike of pink flowers that can be up to a metre high. This species is noted for having stripes on its labellum. The other Dipodium which can be found in the Adelaide Hills has spots on the labellum.
The Hyacinth Orchid is very different from other orchids as it has no leaves, and relies on fungi from stringy barks. Due to this fact, this orchid cannot be propagated.
Greetings all and a happy new year! OrchidNotes has grown gradually, and has become quite an exciting blog for me, and my fellow writers here. Hopefully this year we will continue with many more interesting articles, and plenty of pictures of our beautiful native Australian orchids.
The common hyacinth orchid, Dipodium roseum
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.
Unfortunately at the moment I’ve been very busy, consequently I have been unable to prepare much for you. However, I’m posting a couple of pictures of some summer orchids, that will begin flowering in time for Christmas.
The hyacinth orchid – this is probably one of the most photographed orchid in the Adelaide Hills, as the whole plant can be about two to three feet high.
Moose Orchid – This is probably a flower you won’t see in South Australia, as it is very rare, and grows in swamps. However it is more common in the eastern states but does not need to grow in a swamp. Its leaves look like the leaves from gum trees.
Duck Orchid – this is actually out at the moment, and would have to be a favourite flower for everyone.