Tag Archives: variety

OrchidNotes is One Year Old!

Last year, Helen and I started OrchidNotes, more as an experiment to see what we could do with a website.  She knows more about orchids than I do, and she has more opportunities to go out in the field and see them.

This past week, we made several changes.  We have a new icon.  We have a new theme.  (Did you notice? )  And we now have a Facebook page.  We also have a Google+ page, OrchidNotesAustralia.

Our first post went public on 26 April 2012.  That being said, it was simply an ordinary welcome.  But we have a few curiosities from those early days.

We also have a couple of posts featuring Australian animals, which is always popular

Helen has a few posts on photography that are wothwhile reading

Also check out the other pages on OrchidNotes.  Here are a few I recommend:

Also have look at External Links for other websites on orchids.

This year, we welcomed new blogger, Robert Lawrence, author of Start With The Leaves, an orchid field guide.  We are hoping to have more writers soon.

Orchid season taking off

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.

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November and December

January and February

and then it all starts over again.

For more pictures see here.

Orchid artwork

For something a bit different, I have a picture of a nodding greenhood and have superimposed some donkey orchids, so they look like they are in the flower.

Orchid artwork

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.

Free Orchid walks


Thelymitra rubra ~Common Pink Sun Orchid

There will be two free guided walks to see orchids at the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens in Adelaide.  These walks are led by the Native Orchid Society of South Australia and are a chance for the public to see some common orchids and get to know some other orchid lovers.  The walks are on:

  • Monday ~ 1 October 2012
  • Saturday ~ 27 October 2012

Walks start at 11am and are just over an hour in length and start at the Lower Carpark.  Please contact me if you are interested.


Click on pictures to enlarge.

All pictures were taken at the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens.

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…