Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Two midget Midge Orchids

These Corunastylis are not as short as several others you have seen this summer have been, but their flowers are very small, none the less. Hence today's title. Plus, I love the "sound" of it. 

Both of these species were "new" for me, when Alan Stephenson showed them to me, last Friday. With the Pharochilum daintreanum, the  Speculantha ventricosa, and today's two new species (for me), it was a big day.

This is Corunastylis despectans, as found in Tomerong, NSW (south from Nowra). This plant has a very limited distribution and is classed as a threatened species (ROTAP category 2K )

This is how little one tends to see - at first, until one gets down and dirty, to examine it closely. 

One needs to do that, because even with a good macro lens, it is hard to distinguish these flowers. I shall try to describe the subtle differences between these plants.

Corunastylis despectans (in situ)
Corunastylis despectans (red form)
If you click to enlarge this image you can see
that the labellum of the flower in the centre of the image
and also the lowers flower
is clearly anarrow wedge-shaped labellum
(in contrast with the next species 2 images below).
Corunastylis despectans - same plant - a bit closer
This specimen of Corunastylis despectans 
is considerably lighter in colour than the previous one.
Corunastylis despectans (light coloured form).

Colin and Mischa Rowan have a full page of images of this species, taken on a recent visit to the Nowra district.


Here is Corunastylis laminata, 
another small-flowered Midge Orchid.
This is what one sees when bending down to peer at the plant.
Corunastylis laminata, another reddish Midge Orchid
I was having trouble getting proper focus,
so I have borrowed some photos from Alan Stephenson. 
Thanks Alan.

Here is one of Alan's images 
from the same place as my photo above.
(Falls Creek, south from Nowra, NSW)
If you click to enlarge, you can detect that
this species has a furry tip to the labellum.
Corunastylis laminata - Falls Crk, NSW (Photo: Alan Stephenson)
Here is a second plant from the same place
If you click to enlarge this shot 
you can see that the labellum 
(facing the camera on about the 3rd flower from top)
is noticeably broader than the
tiny wedge-shaped labellum of the first species 
(discussed above).
Corunastylis laminata - Falls Crk, NSW (Photo: Alan Stephenson)
This image was taken by Alan elsewhere, on another day.
It is the same species - (Corunastylis laminata).
Once again, one can see the broad upper side of the labellum
especially obvious on the lowest flower.
One can also just discern the small hairs
on the edge of the labellum.
Corunastylis laminata - Yarran Road NSW (Photo: Alan Stephenson)
My thanks once again to Alan Stephenson 
for the use of his 3 images tonight.

Once again, Colin and Mischa Rowan have excellent photos
of this species on their site.

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