Tag Archives: Thelymitra

Camera dies…

Finally, I was able to go and hunt for some orchids.  But my camera died!

So my camera for taking macro photography thinks that everything is white.  Fortunately, Dad very kindly lent me his camera, thank you Dad!  So I was able to take some orchid pictures to share with you all.  I saw lots and lots of leaves.  There were so many.  It could be that this is going to be a good year for finding orchids.  We will have to wait to see how the year unfolds.  Some of the different leaves that I saw included Arachnorchis, Glossodia major, Bunochilus viriosous and Thelymitra.  Below is a very nice field of Nemacianthus caudatus.  This orchid will be flowering in the coming month.

Nemacianthus caudatus

I also checked out my favourite little spot of Corysanthes diemenica.  The leaves were emerging, and there were some tiny little buds beginning to appear.

Corysanthes diemenica

I was also able to find some orchids in flower.  There were quite a few plants of Urochilus sanguineus.  This species will continue flowering for several more months.  It has a relatively long flowering time.  I have written about this species previously for the Know Them series.  The flowers were lovely and fresh, and I believe this is when they have the best colouring.

Urochilus sanguineus

And the other orchid I saw in flower was the tiny Mosquito orchid, Acianthus pusillus.  This species also has a long flowering time, and will be finishing in August.

Acianthus pusillus

Some of these trees where covered in the fungi pictured below.  I thought it looked quite pretty.  Enjoy your long weekend!

Fungi

I want/need a new camera now!  I would prefer a digital SLR, any suggestions?

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Ramblings and orchid pollen

Because I was not busy this week, I was really looking forward to looking for orchids today.  It has been some time since I’ve been able to look for orchids, so it seemed a good opportunity.  However it has been raining, which is wonderful for all the plants and orchids, I just didn’t get to look for them this week.

Rain

In my recent post, Nice and Early, I showed a picture of an Eriochilus cucullatus with some pollen on it labellum.  It is not very often that pollen is found on flowers, so this was a slightly unusual shot from that perspective.  In this case, it appears that the pollen was transferred to this plant, but was not placed on the right spot for pollination.

Eriochilus cuculata (1)

Some of the self-pollinating sun orchids, such as the one below from the Thelymitra pauciflora complex, will have a fine white powder over the flower which is its pollen.

Thelymitra sp

Here is a video showing how the pollen behaves when being transferred by a bee from plant to plant.

Orchids of the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens

Australia is a rich resource for orchids, especially terrestrial orchids which make up 82 percent of all the Australian orchids.  Terrestrial Orchids are found, mainly below the tropics in grasslands, heath lands, and eucalyptus forests.  Many are deciduous coming up in autumn/winter, flowering in winter/spring and dying down in summer.  Most rely on fungi to survive, and for germinated to occur.

What makes an orchid?

Orchids are always made up of five main segments: a labellum, column, two sepals and a dorsal sepal and two petals.

How do orchids reproduce?

Most orchids need to be pollinated by native bees, wasps and sometimes ants.  The introduced European Bee, because of its size, does not pollinate the flower, but can instead damage or destroy it.  Some orchids do not require a pollinator and are thus called self pollinating.

Orchids in South Australia

There are many different orchids; in fact, South Australia is home to over three hundred different species, some of which are yet to be described.  The Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens yields a variety of orchids, which will be covered in this leaflet.

Arachnorchis tentaculata King Spider Orchid

This species is relatively common in the Mt. Lofty Ranges, with flowers reaching ten centimetres across.  It can easily be distinguished by clubs on the end of its petals and sepals.

Diuris pardina Spotted Donkey Orchid

This attractive flower is distinguished by the spots on its sepals and labellum.  It received its common name as its petals reminded the English settlers of donkey ears.

Diuris orientis Wallflower Donkey Orchid

This distinctive orchid can be distinguished by its bright colours and particularly its labellum, which can be a shade of deep purple.  This species is also referred to as the Bulldog Orchid.

Diuris orientis x pardina Pioneer Donkey Orchid

It is not unusual to find hybrids of the donkey orchid.  It is often between these two species and can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from Diuris pardina.

Glossodia major Cockatoo Orchid

This purple flower is often found in fields, and is very common in the Mount Lofty Ranges.  It does vary in colour from purple to a pure white, with the different varieties growing together.

Pterostylis pedunculata Greenhood

This winter flowering orchid is often found in dense colonies which can number over a hundred plants.  It can be found in early spring in the Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens.

Microtis arenaria Onion Orchid

This green flower breaks out of its cylindrical leaf.  Many people find the Microtis family difficult to identify due to its minute size.

Thelymitra rubra Sun Orchid

This pink sun orchid is one of three pink sun orchids.  It can be distinguished by the tufts on the top of the column.  It opens freely on warm days, when the temperature is over 25 degrees centigrade.

Thelymitra brevifolia Pepper Top Sun Orchid

This sun orchid has a distinctive red top on its column.  It can also be distinguished by red edges on its short broad leaf.  Its flower is smaller than Thelymitra rubra.

Thelymitra parviflora Sun Orchid

This common sun orchid has a blue flower and can be confused with a number of other blue sun orchids.  Like all sun orchids, it only opens on warm days, as this is when the pollinators are present.

There are many other types of orchids not considered in this leaflet.  However some field guides on orchids will enable identification of orchids which can be found in other parks and reserves around Adelaide or beyond.

Protecting Orchids

It is always a pleasure to find orchids but they do need to be protected and conserved.  Orchids can easily be eliminated by weeds which choke them.  Consequently, if orchids are found, it is an indication that the surrounding bush is good quality.  It is also important not to pick orchids.  Not only is it illegal, but orchids need their flowers to reproduce.

This is from a leaflet about the common orchids in the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens.  For the printable version, see here.

Returning… (Part 3)

For today I will be finishing the series of posts I’ve done on this small roadside site, that I visited back in September.

For other parts see: Previous visit, Part 1, Part 2

I was hoping to see some Thelymitra, sun orchids in flower, but they were not ready even though the day was warm.

There were some Pterostylis nutans, nodding green-hoods flowering.  They really do nod in the wind!

There were some other green-hoods up, one being Pterostylis pedunculata, the maroon green-hood and another being Linguella nana.

What was most satisfactory was seeing some of the Linguella nana had formed capsules.  That means there will be more plants there in coming years.

Spring is here

It is the first day of spring, and so far the day has been very pleasant with the glorious sun out.  Spring is also the busy season for orchid lovers.  Although there will be orchids out most of the year, now is when the majority of them will be flowering.  Today, I’m including a couple of pictures for you to enjoy; pictures taken on glorious spring days.

Oligochaetochilus arenicola – Rufus hoods
I have written about this orchid before, and it will soon be flowering in the more arid parts of Australia.  It is a spectacular plant to see, and the leaves have been up now for some time.

Thelymitra – Sun Orchid
These flowers, particularly the blue ones, are deceptively hard to identify, opening only when it is warm enough.  Many of them look very similar, but they are rewarding to find on a warm spring day.

Diruis – Donkey Orchid
Another favourite, and a very beautiful flower.  In South Australia, ours are only yellow with some having red, but the eastern states have a pink donkey orchid.

Arachnorchis – Spider Orchid
A beautiful collection of flowers, which when ever I see them each year, I can’t help thinking that they look so much smaller then how they are portrayed in the pictures.

Calochilus – Bearded Orchid
I love the rough, straggly beard of this orchid.  It adds so much character to the flower.

Caleana – Duck Orchid
This would have to be one of the orchids that I really look forward to seeing, but it won’t be flowering until the end of spring.  The first few times I saw these orchids, it was wet and raining, but last year, the sun came out.

… so tiny…

Orchid Leaves in May

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.

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