Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Orchids from Jervis Bay region

On Sunday I attended a group tour hosted by the Illawarra Branch of the Australasian Native Orchid Society. We convened at Seven Mile Beach, but then immediately went in convoy to the bush south from Nowra, in the general area of Jervis Bay National Park.

Firstly we stopped to look up into the Ironbark trees to peer at leaves of the Ironbark Orchid. (See this link for photos from an earlier trip.) Not much fun in that, when they are not flowering, and quite high anyway. However, we were treated to much more fun at the next stop.

We went to a point in Callala Beach. There is a sandy strip of roadside verge, opposite houses. There were so many Orchids visible that we had already seen them even before the cars had stopped - and we are talking small "Ladies Finger Orchids", here, not tall Hyacinth Orchids. Yet they certainly were visible.

The main species here was Petalochilus pictus (formerly Caladenia picta).

As often happens with these little "Ladies Fingers Orchids" (of many species) there is considerable variation between the individual flowers.
Type A - a classic "pictus"
Note the red blotch inside the column
with some green visible too.
Type B - with strong magenta wash over the white background.
Type C - the upper surface of the column is more visible.
Therefore the flower is showing more green.
This is another variant. Similar to Plant A above.
These are lovely plants in my opinion, and I really enjoyed seeing literally thousands of these flowers growing opposite suburban houses. I could not help wondering if the residents were aware of the treasures across the road?

There will be more Orchids to come over the following days.


Snail said...

It's always difficult to know how people would respond to having such beautiful little flowers nearby --- treasure them or dig them up.

mick said...

Beautiful little flowers. I wonder why there were so many flowers in that spot. You said the soil was sandy - but what else made it such good habitat?

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
Good question - on which there was much debate, and no real answers.
The whole area was sandy, but just this area had flowers.
It had been burnt about 2 years ago - always a potential trigger to Orchid flowering.
But was it the only area burnt? Not sure. Unlikely!
We were just grateful that our guide knows the area so well as to be able to show them to us.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Snail
Didn't notice your early morning contribution come in. Sorry.
What an appalling thought you have come up with. But thanks for doing so.
The "Caladenia" group are regarded (by experts) as "difficult" to grow and almost impossible to get to flower. But that doesn't mean people would not be so silly as to dig them up.
Of course if they do so when the plants are in flower, they will simply die straight away.
Thanks for prompting me to put that on record. It never even occurred to me to deal with that issue.
Short answer to anyone reading this who might be tempted to try, is "don't dig them up".

Tyto Tony said...

Be nice if all could 'dig' flowers without being tempted to dig 'em up.

Denis Wilson said...

I agree entirely, Tony.
Dig'em without Digging'Em.