Horned Orchid - Orthoceras strictumThey are relatively tall Orchids - about 600 mm. They grow amongst sedges and rushes around the edge of the dam - on moist ground, mostly (but not in water), but there are some growing further afield from the dam, on the higher and drier sides of the dam. The soil in this local area district is gravelly, not a sandstone base, nor basalt, although both those soil types occur in the Canyonleigh area. It is an area of complex geology, with soil-type changes every few kilometres along the away into this district.As you can see these Orchids produce long stems, with a series of individual flowers in a loose spiral around the stem. The green ovaries at the base of each flower are very prominent, although they are partially shrouded by a colourful purplish bract.This group photograph shows how these plants grow in clusters amongst clumps of strong-growing rushes and sedges. I was very pleased to be able to see these plants, which I have never seen before. Thanks to Ian and Margaret for their hospitality.
In return, I was also able to show Ian and Margaret the seedpods of some Onion Orchids (Microtis sp) and Sun Orchids (Thelymitra sp) also growing in the same habitat. Obviously those plants flower earlier, but I have tipped the owners off to look in the same area for these other Orchids from October onwards - on warm sunny days in the case of the Sun Orchids. If you live near a dam with a naturally vegetated edge, like this, check out what is growing there.