Tag Archives: summer

Looking towards 2014

DSC029042013 was quite a fun year, and saw OrchidNotes first year anniversary in April at about 100 subscribers and in June we hit 10,000 views.  By the end of the year, both those figures had more than doubled.

WordPress has put together a summary of the statistics for OrchidNotes.

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete 2013 report.  If you like, you can compare it with the 2012 report.  It’s so exciting to see this website growing.

And as a teaser, my next post will be about Dipodiums.  I’ll hear from you then.

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! 😉

New Website

http://saorchids.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/header.jpg?w=564&h=175

I’m quite excited to announce that I have a new website.  Please check it out:

Gallery of South Australian Orchids

It has a selection of photographs of South Australian orchids.  The site is mainly static, so if you want to hold a conversation, it is best to do that here on OrchidNotes.  Please let me know what you think of the new website.  Most the pictures you see here, you will probably see on the other site.

Very soon, there will be a new author for OrchidNotes.  Robert Lawrence, author of Start with the Leaves, will be providing some articles here, which is another exciting development.

Recently I’ve added some more information on this site under the “tabs” so you might like to check it out.

Swamp Orchid

Moose Orchid

So here I am doing it again, attempting to draw, and probably not doing justice to the flower.  The top of the flower is yellow, and then it reaches red towards the end of the flower.  I’ve tried to capture some of the veins in the flower as well as the overall feel of the flower.  Let me know what you think of it.

This is one of the more unusual orchids, and is known as the moose orchid.  In South Australia it is found only in swamps whereas in the eastern states it can be found outside of swamps in moist areas.  It is one of the few South Australian orchids with evergreen leaves.

A Spotted Summer Orchid

Dipodium pardalium is distinguished from D. roseum by the small pink spots, not stripes, found on the labellum.  These two species are very similar having the same flower shape and size and growing in the same habitat.  However D. pardalium is considered rare in South Australia.  Recently I observed that on the Fleurieu Peninsula that this species was more readily found than the common hyacinth.  Yet in the Adelaide Hills D. pardalium was hard to find.

Pardalinum

The spotted hyacinth orchid is probably my favorite of the two species.  Generally it has white flowers covered in dark pink spots.  It does not have as much variation as the roseum but sometimes the flowers can have a soft pink colouring and the stems of this species can be dark red right through to green.

Bee Pollinater D. pardalinum

These orchids do flower right through our summer and thus experience the hot weather.  The orchids struggle on 40 C (104 F) and the flowers can abort. On a good year about a quarter of the flowers will be pollinated.  It is suspected that the two Dipodium species in the Adelaide Hills have different pollinators, but more research is required here. However it is pollinated by a small native bee.

Dipodium pardalium

Know Them

A Common Summer Orchid

Dipodium roseum – Common Hyacinth Orchid

In summer there are not many orchids which are found flowering.  However the Dipodium family has a couple of species that show themselves during our hot season.  The most common of these is the Dipodium roseum which is also the most frequently photographed orchids in the Adelaide Hills.

Dipodium roseum (23)

It can be quite varried, from deep pink through to white flowers, with both colours found on both dark brown stems and green stems.  These variations have caused some to suspect that there might be several species, but they all the one species.

Dipodium roseum

This plant distinguishes is by its spike of pink flowers that can be up to a metre high.  This species is noted for having stripes on its labellum.  The other Dipodium which can be found in the Adelaide Hills has spots on the labellum.

DSC05773

The Hyacinth Orchid is very different from other orchids as it has no leaves, and relies on fungi from stringy barks.  Due to this fact, this orchid cannot be propagated.

Dipodium roseum

Know Them

Welcoming a new year

Greetings all and a happy new year!  OrchidNotes has grown gradually, and has become quite an exciting blog for me, and my fellow writers here.  Hopefully this year we will continue with many more interesting articles, and plenty of pictures of our beautiful native Australian orchids.

The common hyacinth orchid, Dipodium roseum

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.