Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What I was looking at (while bending over).

Enough of that "posture" thing, Denis. Get on with the real story - Orchids.

These Maroonhoods (Pterostylis pedunculata) are in the "Greenhood" group of Orchids, based upon the colour of their close relatives, which are nearly all green. Some were found on "The Gib", (See yesterday's story, if you missed it, for an explanation of the "posture" reference.) Some of these Orchids were found in Kangaloon, along Tourist Road - both groups on the same day. The Tourist Road group are more advanced, which fits with The Gib being higher, and colder, and hence the flowers slightly later to develop.

The Sydney Catchment Authority proposes to dig up along this part of Tourist Road for a pipeline for the "Shoalhaven Transfers" (water pumped from the Shoalhaven River to Sydney). If that does not disturb these plants, nothing will! Don't you just love blind bureaucracy?

This is my favourite photo (for now)
Not great clarity, just nice grouping
A pair of baby Orchids budding together.

Note how dark the flowers (above) are - even at this very early stage of their development. The long points swivel back as the "ears", once the flowers open. The green and white striped parts of the flower are just emerging from the surrounding bracts. As the flowers develop, the stem continues to grow higher. The "ovary" rises clear above the bract, which, in the next photo is seen to be positioned relatively lower on the flower. This is because the flower is growing up, past it. Contrast this with the paired flowers, two photos down.

A bud of Pt. pedunculata (with cobweb)
A full frontal view - note the wide set "points" (or "ears")

A fine pair of Pt. pedunculata orchids

On the right hand flower here, you can see the bract (a leaf-like sheath on the stem) now considerably lower than the ovary (the striped part of the stem, just below the flower - which will become the "seed pod" if these flowers are successfully pollinated).
This shows how far the flower has grown up, from the bud stage, as in photos 1 and 2 above.

A cluster of flying "Maroonhoods"
Pt. pedunculata
on Tourist Road 20 August 2007

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