Category Archives: Uncategorized

Parsons Bands Orchid – possibly a green form?

One orchid that is currently flowering is Eriochilus cucullatus also know as Parsons Band. Generally the flower is darker but here is a picture of an albino form.

Fifteen Acres

possibly-the-green-form-of parsons-bands-orchid If you’re an Orchid enthusiast I would appreciate some feedback on whether this is the green form of the Parsons Bands orchid..

We have quite a few Parsons Bands Orchids in flower at the moment, but this one stands out through the lack of pink or red.  Potentially it is a green form, as referenced on the Retired Aussies  website.  I have not found reference to this colour anywhere else.  So, if you have knowledge of this variation, I am keen to hear from you.

When I took this photograph I was photographing a number of other plants.  I only noticed the difference afterI loaded it onto the computer.  This means I have no idea where to search to find it again.  However, I will be on the lookout for another one.   The Retired Aussies website suggests it is rare, but it does not appear on the list of…

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Why can’t I buy that pretty blue orchid? . . . or Purchasing Aussie terrestrial Orchids on the International Market

Many people ask me about growing terrestrial orchids. Here is a nice article written about an American’s experience growing some Australian terrestrial orchids.

NOSSA

When noticed, Australian orchids capture people’s imagination and many want to be able to grow them.  As a result we often receive request for where to purchase them, particularly from overseas.  For people overseas we are unable to help them.  Recently I came across some comments from Philip Shin and he has kindly written about his experience with trying to purchase orchids from Australia.  I trust that his experience will help our overseas people understand some of the issues involved.

So let’s hear what he has to say …..

It has been brought to my attention that there have been many requests from international buyers who wish to purchase Native Australian Terrestrial Orchids from Australia. To give you all a basic idea of who I am and why I’m writing this brief article, I will tell you a few things about me.

Firstly, I am an orchid hobbyist just like you…

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Lemon scented

Thelymitra antennifera – Rabbit Ears

The genus of sun orchids can be quite daunting to identify, but thankfully in South Australia Thelymitra antennifera is the most commonly encountered yellow sun orchid with its distinctive column.  It has two common names.  Rabbit ears describe the dark red “ears” that sit on top of the column.  The second name is Lemon Scented Sun orchid, which describes the soft scent emitted by these flowers.

Thelymitra antennifera

This sun orchid has thin grass like leaf with a dark purple base.  The plants quite commonly have several flowers on them.  The flowers are relatively large compared to the small, short stem that holds them.

The Rabbit Ears sun orchid can be found right across Australia from Western Australia into Victoria and Tasmania.  It tends to enjoy a slightly opened woodland, and can be often found on the top of ridges and further down in the valleys.  It is common, and has a long flowering range.  Depending on the region, it can be seen in flower from August to November on any warm day.

Know Them

Flash not flattering – Part 2

In Part 1, I said I would take some more pictures comparing orchids taken with a flash and those taken without a flash.  On Saturday, I went out and took some photos.  However it was such a lovely day, that I did not take many pictures with a flash.  Why spoil a good day!  In the end, I took more videos of orchids than photos, and I’ll eventually put a couple of these up here.

I probably should have not taken the picture with the camera facing into the sun, but…

The above pictures have not been edited and are of Urochilus sanguineus, the Maroon Banded Greenhoods.

Slender

Oligochaetochilus arenicola – Sand-hill Rufoushood

As well as introducing you to this fascinating orchid, I will use it as an example for some tips in orchid identification.  However, later on, I do have an interesting tale to tell on this species, but I’ll leave that for another post (i.e. when I get around to writing it – and put the video together!!)

Detail of the bristles on the labellum

This would have to be one of my favourite orchids, not because of any vivid or striking colours.  It has a slender flower, and when it cachest the sunligh, it is quite spectacular.  It tends to grow in sandy soil, and more arid areas, growing in drier sites where other orchids would not be able to survive.  It is listed as rare.

Its unpronounceable name refers to some small bristles which grow on the labellum (lip) of the flower.  The number of bristles is used to determine which species it is, so it doesn’t help identification when the photograph is of the flower with the labellum triggered as seen below.

Oligochaetochilus arenicola with a triggered labellum

This is a spring flowering orchid so it won’t be seen flowering until September to November.  However, its leaves are up in late autumn.  The leaves grow as a rosette (or several leaves growing from one point.)  In this genus, the leaves will begin to die during flowering.

With shorter sepals

Upon first glance the above picture might look like a different species.  Its sepals are shorter than the other orchids photographs in this post.  This was my first reaction upon looking at this picture when I returned home.  This is an example how anyone can be fooled while identifying orchids.  If you look closely, you will see that in fact the sepals have been chewed.  Most likely this happened while the orchid was still in bud, as seen on the left flower.

Across different flowers in this species, there is quite a lot of variation meaning no two flowers are exactly the same.  Maybe this makes them so different and special.

Here are a few more pictures because I like showcasing these flowers!

Know Them

Flowering now

During the week I was able to check up and see what some of our South Australian orchids were doing.

The leaves of Cyrtostylis reniformus were up with a couple of early buds just beginning to appear.  I like the stripes on the leaves and the colour of them.  They are very distinctive.  This is the later flower of the two species of Cyrtostylis with the earlier being Cyrtostylis robusta.

A finished captual of Diplodium robustum.  This is where the seed will form.  They were still all facing the hillside.

A nice little colony of Diplodium robustum.  Note the leaves at the base, as these are the same species, but will not flower this year.

An Urochilus sanguineus out in flower.

The Veined Helmet Orchids, Corysanthes diemenica were only just opening.  Many were still in bud.