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.
Forestry SA land has some of South Australia’s most beautiful and exquisite orchids growing on its lands. While it is predominately focused on pine tree plantations, it does recognize the importance of conserving our rare and beautiful orchids. Here is a short film by Julian Pitcher, from Victoria, sharing his finds on Forestry land from a few months ago.
The small ducks came out a week or so after filming.
For something a bit different this week, I’m sharing a video made by my brother, Joseph. It is about looking for orchids at the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. If you do want to see some of the common orchids, this is a good place to go.
I have a new camera, or rather my family has a new camera. It is a Sony Alpha 58, and it came with four different lenses. So I’m really looking forward to going out into the bush and shooting with it. However today it was raining…
… so that meant today would not have been a good day to look for orchids. Any way, I’ve been having fun walking through our garden at home, and taking pictures so that I can get a feel as to how this camera works and behaves. I’ve been enjoying manual focus, which was not practical on compact digital cameras.
The above picture of Grevillea superb and below I shot using the macro lens, while for the rain shot I actually used a telescopic lens.
Since this is OrchidNotes, I should probably be talking about orchids. Here is a short video that my brother, Joseph, made. He filmed before we bought the new camera. Hope you enjoy it.
Because I was not busy this week, I was really looking forward to looking for orchids today. It has been some time since I’ve been able to look for orchids, so it seemed a good opportunity. However it has been raining, which is wonderful for all the plants and orchids, I just didn’t get to look for them this week.
In my recent post, Nice and Early, I showed a picture of an Eriochilus cucullatus with some pollen on it labellum. It is not very often that pollen is found on flowers, so this was a slightly unusual shot from that perspective. In this case, it appears that the pollen was transferred to this plant, but was not placed on the right spot for pollination.
Some of the self-pollinating sun orchids, such as the one below from the Thelymitra pauciflora complex, will have a fine white powder over the flower which is its pollen.
Here is a video showing how the pollen behaves when being transferred by a bee from plant to plant.
The Parson’s Bands is a small white flower that appears from late March to May and is reasonably common. The flowers always appear before the leaves, which can then last some time after flowering has finished. The whole plant can stand up to fifteen cm high, and usually has one flower per stem, and on rarer occasion can have up to three flowers on one stem. This orchid appears to like growing in small open places, including rocky places and old tracks.
Within the Eriochilus cucullatus species in South Australia there are several subspecies with Eriochilus sp Hills woodland being the most commonly found. In Victoria only E. cucullatus exists, but there are several other species found in Western Australia.
This orchid is believed to be pollinated by a small native bee, which the orchid attracts through its flower’s colouring and scent. The picture above shows some pollinia on the flower’s labellum.
After it flowers, or towards the end of flowering, the leaves of this orchid begin to appear. They are a dark green-grey colouring, with a textured top. If leaves are found at a site, it is probably a good idea to check these areas next autumn for any flowers.