Tag Archives: Bearded

Orchids are amazing

I did not really need to tell you that, because you already knew it.  However, since I started OrchidNotes twitter account, @OrchidNotes, I’ve gained an appreciation of some of the other orchids which grow beyond the shores of Australia.  True, in Australia, we probably have the greatest diversity of orchids, with over 193 genera, over 1300 named species, with 95% being endemic to Australia.  82% of our orchids are terrestrial.  (Jones 2006, pp. 12-13)  So today, I’m going to do something that I have not done before, and share some pictures of orchids which I have never ever seen (but would like to see, maybe one day).

Monkey Face Orchid

The Monkey Face Orchid is so realistic, and I’ve seen so many pictures of this orchid.  It appears to have a lot of variation across the flowers.

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Bee Orchid

So there is the bee orchid, ophrys apifera.  I love the little smile that it has.  It grows in Europe.

File:Ophrys apifera (flower).jpg

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Lady Slipper’s Orchid

This is another European orchid.  It has quite spectacular colouring, especially captured by the sun light as seen in this picture below.

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The Flying Orchid

This flower actually has an intreging was of making sure it is pollinated.  See here for more information.

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Helmet Orchid

Many of our orchids are also found in New Zealand.  I found this rather cute picture of a helmet orchid.  None in Australia have antennae!

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Bearded Orchid

This is an Australian orchid, which I have not feature here much, sadly.  It is another incredible orchid.  I love the beard.

 calochilus robertsonii

Duck Orchid

Probably the most popular and amazing orchid in the world would be the Flying Duck Orchid, and I have seen this flower.  It is incredible.  This is the most popular orchid according to OrchidNotes stats.

Duck 2 copy

What is you favourite orchid?

References

Jones, D. 2006. Native Orchids of Australia; A Complete Guide to native orchids of Australia including the island territories. pp. 12-13.

Also, here is a link to an article showing some of the orchids from the world which look like animals and birds.

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What makes an orchid an orchid

Recently, I have been surprise by the number of “likes” I have received for a post I published several months ago: Parts of an Orchid.  I’ll attempt to write some more posts along these lines, as this seems to be what you (my readers) enjoy!

The origin of the name “Orchids” comes from the Greek word orchis.  This is because the orchids tend to have two tubers shaped like a pair of testicles.  These distinctive tubers separate it from its sister plant group, the lily family.  However when identifying orchids I do not recommend looking at the tubers as it is illegal to dig up orchids in Australia.

Another distinctive feature of an orchid is that both the male and female parts for reproduction are combined on a column, while in other plant families these are separated with sometimes one plant being either the male or female plant.  The column is also an important feature for identification, in particular Thelymitra, sun orchids.

Orchid reproduction

Many orchids rely on fungi for survival.  This makes them challenging to cultivate, with some being impossible to grow, and thus difficult or impossible to re-establish after habitat loss.  Consequently, the number of orchids species present on a site tends to indicate the quality of the site.

Something you may have or may not have noticed is that the flower of an orchid is symmetrical and this is not always applicable to other flowers.

Calochilus cupreus
Bearded orchid

Arachnorchis stricta

Spring is here

It is the first day of spring, and so far the day has been very pleasant with the glorious sun out.  Spring is also the busy season for orchid lovers.  Although there will be orchids out most of the year, now is when the majority of them will be flowering.  Today, I’m including a couple of pictures for you to enjoy; pictures taken on glorious spring days.

Oligochaetochilus arenicola – Rufus hoods
I have written about this orchid before, and it will soon be flowering in the more arid parts of Australia.  It is a spectacular plant to see, and the leaves have been up now for some time.

Thelymitra – Sun Orchid
These flowers, particularly the blue ones, are deceptively hard to identify, opening only when it is warm enough.  Many of them look very similar, but they are rewarding to find on a warm spring day.

Diruis – Donkey Orchid
Another favourite, and a very beautiful flower.  In South Australia, ours are only yellow with some having red, but the eastern states have a pink donkey orchid.

Arachnorchis – Spider Orchid
A beautiful collection of flowers, which when ever I see them each year, I can’t help thinking that they look so much smaller then how they are portrayed in the pictures.

Calochilus – Bearded Orchid
I love the rough, straggly beard of this orchid.  It adds so much character to the flower.

Caleana – Duck Orchid
This would have to be one of the orchids that I really look forward to seeing, but it won’t be flowering until the end of spring.  The first few times I saw these orchids, it was wet and raining, but last year, the sun came out.

… so tiny…