Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Green "Tiny Greenhoods" different from the brown form.

Here are some photographs of an Orchid which I have never photographed before. The photos are not great, but as with my practice of documenting new plants with the best photos I have yet obtained, I will publish these. If I get new photos which are better I will publish them, later on. But in this uncertain world, one can never be sure. For example, the SCA might go and burn these plants, or drive a truck over them, before I get back to photograph them again. I am not joking!
I was sent a photo by Colin Rowan last week, of a green form of the Tiny Greenhood. As regular readers will recall, I showed Colin and Mischa the Orchids of Robertson and Kangaloon two weeks ago. But they went off towards Sydney, and promptly found and photographed a green form of this little Speculantha parviflora, elsewhere in the Southern Highlands, the day after I showed him around. I have only seen this plant once before, but I was on a very long bushwalk, and was not carrying a camera with me. So, it is typical of my luck (or theirs) that Colin and Mischa, came up from Victoria, and following some suggestions of mine as to places worth looking at on their way through to Sydney, and found the green form. Don't you just hate that?

Experienced Orchid people are like that - they seem to have an instinct for where to look. I have privately congratulated them. Don't worry, I am not being nasty! But I am none-the-less happy to have found these plants myself.Anyway, my own luck was in yesterday. I also found the green form of the Tiny Greenhood. These plants were growing along Tourist Road, Kangaloon, in a slightly different area from where I normally look. (There is a lesson there, I suppose.)
I have previously shown the brown form of a related species of Tiny Greenhood. That plant is not yet described, but it will be named in due course, as a separate species - when the Orchid experts get around to describing their next batch of new species.Here is a nice group of these brown Speculantha flowers (3 plants together). Technically they are known as "Speculantha sp. nova affine parviflora" which means a "new species of Tiny Greenhood, similar to Speculantha parviflora".
A closer view of nice pair of these brown Tiny Greenhoods. The top flower, the newer flower, is dark brown on the front section of the flower. They fade to reddish brown as they age (check out the lower flower).Here is a close-up of one of those flowers. If you compare it with the green flowers above, you can see that this plant has a deeply curved-over "hood" (or "galea" as it is known). The green plant (see the photos above) has an open front, with the hood flaring open in a way which is quite different from this plant. The green plant also has a little bump at the front of the flower (the "sinus"), whereas these plants are close to being flat in the front. Compare the close-up shots of the green form, and this plant. So, this brown plant has different form, as well being of a different colour. That is good evidence for it to warrant its own species name.I have not been able to compare and contrast these related but different plants until today, so this is pretty exciting for me.

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