Tag Archives: General

Greenhoods

I haven’t written for a while due to a very busy schedule and unfortunately have not been able  to see many orchids.  It’s very nice to see that I’ve reached 400 followers – which is a lot of people – thank you!  Yesterday, if you were following me on Twitter (@OrchidNotes) it would have been pretty easy to see that I was out orchid hunting.  The major find was the Diplodium robustum.

Diplodium robustum

There was this lovely patch of orchids with over a couple hundre of orchids in flower and many more plants in leaf.  It was a very spectacular display.

Two flowers with the rest in the background

Two flowers with the rest in the background

A cluster of flowers

A cluster of flowers

A bud on the left and a flower on the right

A bud on the left and a flower on the right

Looking into the flower and being able to see the labellum and column

Looking into the flower and being able to see the labellum and column

All these pictures were taken on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4).  When I arrived home all the pictures I had taken are automatically uploaded to Google Images.  What was a surprise was that Google went through my pictures and picked the following as my best pictures from the day and then edited them for me!

It was fun to get out and see these wonderful orchids.  Have you been seeing any orchids recently?

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! 😉

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.

New Orchid Video

So for something a bit different, I have a video for you to watch.  I’m hoping to do more like this, so let me know what you think and what you would want me to do in the future.

The longest part in making the video was learning to use the software, as I had not used that particular software before.

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.

Source

Source

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

Source

Source

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.

Source

Source

The Flying Orchid

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

Source

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!

Source

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.

Amazing but scary

Some time back, on the 22 April, I wrote about the weedy orchid which grows in the Adelaide hills.  I included a picture of this weed which had been kept in a bag for over a week and the little shoots looked fairly healthy. I thought that was quite impressive that it had managed to live without water or sunlight, and now…

image

It is nearly a month and a half since that weedy orchid was placed in a bag, and it is still alive! Wow! No water, no sunlight, just living on the energy that was stored in its tiny bulbs. That is amazing.

When I was first told that if one of these orchids was uprooted while in flower will continue to produce seeds, I was a bit sceptical. Surely no plant would be able to continue to grow when placed in a bag, but now I’ve changed my mind.

My understanding is that Disa bractreata is a desert plant from South Africa, and this would explain why it is so tough and hardy. It does not require much before it takes off and is all through a site. Interestingly I can’t recall seeing this weed in moist areas, but I could be wrong. I’ll be looking out for it to see if that is so.

In the meantime, this Disa bractreata can continue growing in its little plastic bag. I wonder how much energy is in those bulbs, and when will it start looking thirsty. This orchid is making me curious: I want to find out how tough it is, and what does it take to kill it, though this would be the only orchid I’d want to destroy. It is a pity that many of our native orchids are not very that tough, or maybe they are tougher than we think!

image