Tag Archives: Flowers

The Mayfly

Nemacianthus caudatus – Mayfly Orchid

Acianthus pusillusThis little orchid is very similar to Acianthus pusillus but flowers in spring instead of autumn.  It has similar heart-shaped leaves to Acianthus pusillus, but the flowers are very differentThey are often found growing together.

The Mayfly orchid has graceful long sepals compared to a relatively small flower.  The whole flower stalk is a dark red, which makes it a challenging subject to photograph in low light.

It is often found growing at the base of tress in the leaf litter, in small colonies.  The flowers attracts its pollinator, a small gnat, by giving off a musty odour which we can also detect.  Once pollinated, the ovaries (pictured left) swell with many tiny seeds within.

Nemacianthus caudatus.docx

Know Them

Some Spider Orchids

The spider orchids, Arachnorchis sp. are a rather beautiful genus, with quite a lot of diversity.  Today, I will just be showing two of my favourites.

The first one is Arachnorchis rigida.  It has been several years since I’ve seen this beautiful flower, and I would like to see it again, but sadly it it not that common.  Looking through all the pictures we have taken, I couldn’t really find anything that does justice to this beautiful flower.  Even a Google search did not yield anything spectacular.  It would be great to take some nicer pictures, maybe this year…?

Arachnorchis rigida

I love the soft pink on white.  In the picture above it reminds me of icing.

Arachnorchis rigida

Another beautiful species is the Arachnorchis reticulata.  There is quite a broad diversity in the colouring of this orchid, as can be seen by one labellum being darker than the other.

Arachnorchis reticulata Arachnorchis reticulata

Special thanks again to Dad for this pictures.

Orchids and Fire

Many fires in Australia have caused harm and resulted in huge costs. There have be several major cases of fires causes sever damage and fatalities, including Ash Wednesday in 1980s in South Australia and Black Saturday in Victoria, 2009.

Image Source

However there are several orchids that thrive following a summer fire.  These include the black fire orchid (Pyrorchis nigricans), the rabbit ears orchid (Leptoceras menziesii), and the leek orchid (Prasophyllum elatum).  Let me make it clear, they need a summer burn.  In Australia we have a fire season during summer, when no controlled burns are allowed.  Sadly this is when the orchids need the fire, so it is generally the accidental fires or arson which provide the right conditions.  During the autumn and winter months, controlled burns are conducted to prevent the bushland becoming a fire hazard in summer.  Yet these burns often occur just as the orchids are emerging, and can kill the plants.

Pyrorchis nigricans

The black fire orchid, Pyrorchis nigricans, as its name suggests, appears to benefit from a summer burn.  Its leaves are very common, and can grow up to a 5cm across (which is enormous for an Australian terrestrial orchid!).  They usually need fire to flower.

Pyrorchis nigricans

A typical flower after fire

After flowering, the whole plant turns black, hence its name, the black fire orchid.  This picture was taken in summer.

The Rabbit Ears Orchid, Leptoceras menziesii, seems to flower better after a fire.  Below is a lovely patch that my father found following an a fire.  Unfortunately I did not get to see the patch, and have only seen a couple of flowers at a time.

Leptoceras menziesii

One of my favourite orchids after flower would have to be the leek orchid, Prasophyllum elatum.  For this genus, generally the flowers and stems are green, but after fire, the flowers and stems turn black.  They look like black twigs sticking up out of the ground, so blend in quite well with their surroundings.

Without fire

Without fire

A lovely tall specimen

A lovely tall specimen in a burnt area

Striking colours after fire

Striking colours after fire

… and Dad, thanks for the pictures! 😉

Three years difference

In July 2011, I came across this amazing colony of Corysanthes dieminica (Helmet orchids.)  It was really exciting to find them, as I had not seen such a healthy colony before.  The picture below of the field of flowers is one of my favorite shots.

Corysanthes diemenica

In 2011

There were so many flowers.  It almost seemed that every plant that was up was flowering.  The total patch would be at least one metre wide, and nearly a metre and a half long.  It is sits between a path and a couple of Xanthorrhoea, under which there were a few flowers.

The whole patch

The whole patch in 2011

I find it interesting that all the flowers are facing one direction.  In this case it is towards the south.  Other smaller patches of Corysanthes diemenica have also faced mainly one direction, but not always to the south.

Another angle

Another angle again in 2011

So after finding something as good as this, I had to come back the next year.  In 2012, there weren’t nearly as many flowers or leaves up.  The picture below shows the most dense section in 2012, which is nothing compared to 2011.

Corysanthes diemenica

In 2012

This year there weren’t many flowers either.  Looking across the different pictures, it looks like there are more leaves up this year, with a couple of flowers.  However, I did notice that there were more flowers under the Xanthorrhoea, than I could remember previously.  I wonder what will happen next year.

Corysanthes diemenica

In 2013

The colouring of the helmet orchids are so beautiful.  The flowers are also partially transparent, and this makes them stunning to look at when the sunlight comes through the flower!

Corysanthese dieminica

There’s nothing like getting up nice and close

Click on any of the images to view them at a larger size.

Between the rain

Yesterday morning, I took the opportunity to go orchid hunting, as it will be raining for the next few days.  Fortunately while I was out there, the weather was rather forgiving, but there was a very light shower.  The birds seemed to be enjoying themselves, but were too fast for me to capture.

water

I really love it how these Linguella nana’s (syn. Pterostylis nana) are having a conversation.  They were the first flowers I found of this species, after having seen plenty of leaves and buds.

Linguella nana

I always find it interesting the height difference of Urochilus sanguineus (syn Pterostylis sanguinea).  I am fascinated by the height difference that can be found at one site, though the actual flower size is the same.  These look amazing with the sun coming through the flowers, but this time the sun was hiding.

Urochilus sanguineus

DSC00687

I also saw the Bunochilus viriosus (syn P. viriosa), which is often found growing along side the Urochilus sanguineus.

Bunochilus viriosous

Morialta’s July Orchids

Diplodium robustum

I’m still getting used to the new camera, but it is nice when the orchids decide to grow in a clump.  I always enjoy taking group pictures of orchids.  The picture above is of some Diplodium robustum also known as the Large Shell Orchid.  When identifying this species I get confused as it is not always clear with species is which.  So this next picture I’ll just leave as Diplodium sp., though it could be a D. robustum.

Diplodium sp

Below is a picture of a spider orchid leaf, most likely Arachnorchis tentaculata.  I love the texture from the water droplets caught on the hairs of the leaves.

Arachnorchis leaf

That is all for today.  Enjoy your weekend.

I’m excited

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…

Rain

… 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.

Grevillea superb

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.

what should I call this picture?

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.

Have a good weekend.