Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Greenhoods coming into flower

As I mentioned yesterday, there are other Greenhoods coming into flower just now. This is the start of the season for the "autumn flowered" species, apparently. Today's plants were both found in the Bowral area. Both these species are still known by some taxonomists as members of the Pterostylis genus - as you will find if you follow the hotlinks under their names. The slight spelling differences in the endings of the species names is as a result of the different generic names following different linguistic traditions, having feminine and masculine endings. You can safely ignore that detail. The names I have used are accepted by the main Orchid experts in Australia.

Firstly let us look at Diplodium coccinum, the so-called Scarlet Greenhood. At present these plants are more of a bronze colour, in my opinion, but they may redden up as they age. I saw one flower just as it was finishing, last year, and it was quite red then. Time will tell if they do justify the name.This plant has a very fine tip protruding from its "hood". Not all specimens exhibit that feature, though.

This next specimen has a very hairy tongue ("Labellum") which is quite prominent when "set". However, the "tip" (of the "hood") is short and bent (damaged?).
From above you get the impression of a very handsome flower, strongly marked. The petals beside the tip of the hood are almost free-standing as is evident here. This is a bit unusual amongst Diplodiums. The long tip is present, just not clearly visible in this photo.
This next species is at least a green Greenhood. It is Diplodium reflexum. Its labellum is long and very prominent, but much finer than the other species shown above. The "hood" has a very prominent tip, which curves down over the top of the flower, and thus earns its "reflex" name.
This specimen is a little atypical in that it is not holding its "points" high, as it is meant to do. Because this specimen was slightly damaged, I will not hold that slight imperfection against it. I was delighted to find it, as it is the first record for me of this species. There was just a single plant in flower, but hopefully there are more about somewhere.

Still to come: more Greenhoods - the "Speculantha" family of tiny flowered Greenhoods. And also another new Orchid species for me, in the Corunastylis genus.


Cintia Flores said...

I had never seen this flower. Very different and charming.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Cintia
Our Greenhood Orchids are small terrestrial Orchids. Many different forms, some spring, some summer and others autumn and winter. Very varied and specialised plants. Many are restricted to particular localities. Some are common and widespread.
Genus Pterostylis.
Many of them are grown by "collectors" - in Australia and other countries.
I do not grow them, but photograph wild plants.