Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Orchids growing, but few flowering.

Today I went to one of my favourite "spots" along the Belmore Falls Road, down the hills below Robertson. It is a narrow creek-bed which has a Melaleuca thicket growing along it. In places these Melaleuca shrubs grow so closely together that one has to part the stems, to pas between them. In many cases, the trunks are touching, but generally they are at 20cm spacings. The canopy of fine branches above is totally "closed".

Underneath that dense canopy, there is a cool, dark, moist area which is full of leaf litter, which has turned into a composted peat-like material. There is not enough light to grow normal ground-covering plants, only a few spindly ferns. the rest of the ground is bare. There are patches within this dark thicket where sphagnum moss grows.
Elsewhere, the ground is hardly covered at all - in the most heavily shaded area. On either edge of this narrow Melaleuca thicket, where there is more light, the local ferns form a dense thicket. Mostly Coral Ferns, which form an almost impenetrable barrier to human traffic. But after years of working my way into this thicket, I know a few tracks into this central section.

Here are some leaves of Chiloglottis sylvestris.
These plants had finished flowering when I took those photos (last year)
The point of this illustration today is to show the bare soil
(under the thicket of tall Melaleuca squarrosa shrubs).
There is one section of this Melaleuca thicket where the soil is a little drier, and the trees grow a little further apart (60 cm on average). Consequently the shade is a little less dense (brighter light penetration). In this section there is the best collection of Bunochilus that I know of.
Seedling leaves (on the right) and
potential flowering plants with narrow leaves (on the left).
Those plants may flower, but they will be several months away from flowering yet.
Today there were only a few of these tall Greenhoods in flower.
Hence my title for this post.
For the record, not one of these photos was taken today, because I was out and about, and did not expect to find any Orchids in flower (only one mature, open Greenhood) but the images I show today are typical of what I did see in this little thicket today.


mick said...

An interesting and informative post as always thanks Denis. I find whenever I don't have my camera ready that's when I see the 'perfect' bird!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
I did not confess to having gone out without my Camera, but I see you picked up on that fact.
Thanks for commenting.

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Denis Wilson said...

Thanks for following, but please, NO spamming. I value my site's non-commercial status.