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.
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.