Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Purple Diuris - Diuris punctata.

This is one of my favourite Orchids - the Purple Diuris, Diuris punctata.

I do not know why this plant is named "punctata" (which means spotted)
for as far as I can tell, they are normally quite plain flowers.
Perhaps the original specimen had some spots,
but compared to most other Diuris species, this one is very plain.
There is a tiny flower spider on the lower lip of the labellum.
That is a common occurrence with Ground Orchids.
(Click to enlarge)
My Blogging colleagues Gouldiae and Duncan have both posted images of this species in Gippsland over the last few days. Interesting how our seasons have all come into "synch" recently. In winter and early spring, their flowering seasons there are often ahead of mine, up here - presumably a delaying effect of my higher altitude (approx 700 metres) offsetting any seasonal advantage one would assume of my more northerly (lower) latitude. At the moment we are pretty much on a par with Orchids in Gippsland and the Grampians.

The lateral sepals protrude a long way below the labellum,
and give these plants their other name of "Purple Double-tails".
they are very long, and make this flower seem smaller than other Diuris.
Because the tails are so long, I have to capture a larger image
and then scale it down to make it fit a standard image size of 1000 pixels.You can see what I mean by this image
It shows all five species of Diuris I have published this spring.
D. punctata (on the for end) looks small, but it isn't.
Click to enlarge this image - it is a larger than standard file.
From the left these are Diuris chryseopsis, D. aurea, D. pardina, D. sulphurea and today's D. punctata.

Here is another fresh flower, darker than the first one.
This Purple Diuris is just starting at flower at the only place where I know it lives. I have heard of others, further south on the very southern end of the Sandstone plateau, which have apparently been in flower for some time. That's what I have heard, anyway.

This is the centre of the flower only - the Dorsal sepal (the rear part),
and the labellum, which is very distinctly pleated
with a strong ridge down the middle.
The white column is clearly visible in the middle of the flower.
It has tiny white arms circling above the column, different from D. aurea.
The minute differences between these various species are very noticeable
if you compare the various flowers in detail.
Colin Rowan has posted lots of photos of this species on his Retired Aussies site. Here is the link to the front page of his site, which you can use to look for other species, or to "bookmark" for future reference. It is a site which I use all the time, for reference, as does JL, in Great Western, on the edge of the Grampians, in western Victoria.

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