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.
This common orchid is found in sandy soils flowering mainly from March to May. However it can grow in gravelly soils, but requires fire to encourage flowering, where as colonies will flower readily in sandy soils. This species like many of Australia’s orchids, is endemic to Australia, and can be found from the west to the east of the country, across the southern band of the continent.
Its Latin species name, fimbriata, refers to its fringed labellum, or the lip of the flower. Its flower will appear before its leaves. The leaves of this species are very distinct and beautiful, with vivid red stripes and red edging contrasted against a green with a hint of blue. The leaves on there own are very spectacular. The leaves are very stiff.
Upon seeing a photograph of these orchids, it is easy to be deceived by their size. The height of a flower is just over 2cm, while the flower is only 1cm wide. The whole flower would fit into a postage stamp! The flower stem will be between 15cm to 20cm tall, but less rain may cause it to be stunted.
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.