Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Finger Orchids" - or Caladenias

The names are difficult, even awkward. They used be called "Ladies Fingers" when I was a child. But that has been modified by political correctness, to "Finger Orchids". Until recently, these charming little Ground Orchids were all "Caladenias" - a very large and diverse genus within the Orchid tribe. But the taxonomists have been at work, and these little Orchids have been revised and split into Petalochilus and Stegostyla; with other groups, notably the "Spider Orchids" split off to their own group, and also separated into several distinct genera.

Anyway, these little Ground Orchids have started to flower, in the last week, down in the Eucalypt Forest in Kangaloon. Here are some of these delightful and delicate flowers.
Petalochilus carneus - mid pink, (normal) form.
Petalochilus carneus - a really dark pink form.
Petalochilus carneus - light pink form.
Petalochilus carneus - nearly white form.
Can this still be Petalochilus carneus?
Note the greenish tinges to the "column" (the central section of the flower)
and the distinctive magenta coloured tip of the column.
But it still has the typical red banding on the column
and on the Labellum, and a yellow lip of the Labellum.
But the four fingers are purest white - not a trace of pink.
I will follow up in a few days with some other related plants in the genus Petalochilus and Stegostyla. There are some details of identification which I wish to check up on, before going "public" with my idea of their precise names.


Mountaingirl said...

These are gorgeous! When I lived in WA we periodically went on orchid hunts - surprisingly along the railway lines was a good place to go. SO small, so delicate and so very beautiful. Thank you for sharing :-)

Denis Wilson said...

Welcome, MountainGirl.

Glad you enjoy these little flowers. Much of my blog is about the little things - tiny and often overlooked.

WA is famous for its Ground Orchids. I have never seen them. So, you have a special memory there.