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.
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.
Cyrtostylis robusta – Winter Gnat Orchid or Robust Gnat Orchid
This species is very similar to its sister Cyrtostylis reniformis. The main difference is the flowering time with C. robusta flowering in winter and C. reniformis flowering in spring. C. robusta tends to have smooth green leaves while C. reniformis has strongly veined aqua green leaves. C. robusta has a larger flower that the other species.
Here is a small clip of some Cyrtostylis robusta. There is a little fly on the labellum of the central flower. However it is not a pollinator as the fly can not reach the pollen. Just because an insect is on the flower does not automatically mean it is the pollinator. The pollinator of these flowers is long-legged fungus gnats from the diptera family.
This species has a widespread distribution from Western Australia, through most of South Australia and into Victoria and Tasmania. It grows in a variety of habitats, but prefers a sheltered area. It can grow in exposed areas, but these plants do not tend to flower. It is a reasonably common orchid.
The orchids are on the move. At this time of the year, most of the orchids will have started putting their leaves up. So out in the bush somewhere there will be Thelymitra leaves, Leporella, Pyrorchis, Cyrtostylis, etc, etc. Arachnorchis are just starting. Corybas is among the last. But among the very last, Microtis might just be emerging and Prasophyllum has not yet started.