Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Double flowers of P. curta

There are several species Greenhoods flowering on Mt Gibraltar, Bowral, at present.

In one patch there are some very fine specimens of Pterostylis curta with tall, strong stems, carrying two flowers per stem. There is one mature flower, and beside it, a bud which is just forming up.
(Note also, the twisted tongue "Labellum" which is typical of this species.)

These two photos are of the same flower, and they show how the intensity of colour varies depending on the light available to the camera (aperture and exposure time settings).

There were several "double flowered" plants, which are pretty unusual specimens, for the books refer to this species having solitary flowers. David Jones's book refers to the Pterostylis genus having "a central inflorescence with short bract-like stem leaves and a single hooded flower (rarely 2)." (page 300. - introductory notes on genus Pterostylis).
David L Jones: "A complete guide to Native Orchids of Australia".

Here is a fine specimen of a single-flowered plant of Pt. curta, viewed from the side. It shows the details of the flower. You can see the blunt "nose" on the hood, from which it takes its name ("curta" means "blunt" as in the English phrase to be "curt" with someone). The dorsal sepal (the top of the "hood") barely protrudes past the petals which form the sides of the "hood".

Here is a specimen of Pt. curta at bud stage. These bud photos of different species show interesting variations, even at this stage. This species does not have a large bulge in the front of the flower as its cousin Diplodium obtusum does, at the same stage.

The other Greenhoods on "The Gib" at present are Pt. pedunculata, which although quite common, are still amongst my favourite Greenhoods, as they appear such sweet, bold but comical little flowers. Yes, Jim, I know that I am anthropomorphising again. Tough!

As you can see they have dark tips to the "hood", earning these plants the name of "Maroonhood". In some lights they appear much darker than those seen above.
This is a truer colour representation of Pt. pedunculata, as seen in the bush. Note the wide-spread "points" or "ears" of the flower. Also, the flower is noticeably hairy. It is a dark flower, on the front. From the rear (as seen above) it has distinct white and green markings.

You might notice that a Fungus Gnat has landed on the stem of this flower. Probably attracted to the scent produced by the flower (which I am unable to detect).

Anyway, here is the gnat - zoomed in upon.

1 comment:

Gaye from the Hunter said...

hi Denis,

I read this entry several days ago. I find this two-flowered greenhood most unusual. What a great find.

Your orchid observations have been a real joy and a great interest for me to follow over the past few months, Denis.