Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Waterfall Greenhoods"

The name "Waterfall Greenhood" may seem easier than the normal scientific names, but it is perhaps misleading. For a "Greenhood", this is considerably reddish. But it is "beautiful" enough to warrant the specific name "pulchellum".

Here is a small colony of these plants growing in moist soil, close to a stream.
This is what they look like seen from above. One mature flower is open, and there is another (behind it) not yet open. (Click to enlarge the image).
Diplodium pulchellum - the Waterfall Greenhood

This plant has very particular habitat requirements and is therefore very restricted in its distribution. It is found near Robertson and elsewhere, along the Illawarra escarpment, but in just a few localities. Because of that fact, it is registered on the NSW Threatened Species list.

But what a stunning flower!
Diplodium pulchellum - the Waterfall Greenhood
This species normally flowers in February and early March in Robertson (just a few did flower in February). But we had a dry summer (relative to normal) but March was quite wet. So some of these plants have been spurred into action later than normal.

For me, it is worth the wait.

Note the red "labellum" poking out from the open front (sinus) of the flower. The labellum is actually "deeply notched" at the tip. You can just about make that out if you click on the image above, to enlarge it.

Or you can click this link to see a post of mine about this plant from 3 years ago. Typically, that plant was flowering in late February, 2008.

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