Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, August 19, 2011

Better weather, better photos of Bird Orchids

Following on from yesterday's post on the Bird Orchids on the Budderoo Plateau, the weather was better today (at least not raining), and the flowers were one day more mature, and hence more open.

We found this particularly fine plant today,
just begging to be photographed.
Illawarra Bird Orchid - Simpliglottis chlorantha
While waiting to take these photos, I noticed that the labellum 
is very subject to movement on the wind.
These plants have a hinge in the labellum stalk.
The movement of the labellum was quite noticeable.

Here is a close-up shot of the osmophores (scent glands)
on the labellum of one of the flowers.
Compare the real thing 
with the botanical illustration below, (from PlantNET)
Labellum detail of the Illawarra Bird Orchid ("osmophores" or scent glands)
Unless you actually see these strange scent glands, 
it is hard to imagine that they are real. 
They look like green and red dobs of jelly, 
but are more solid than they look.
Illawarra Bird Orchid - Botanical illustration from PlantNET
As a fringe benefit, I realised that there was tiny Flower Spider 
hiding up inside the column of one of these Bird Orchid flowers.
The yellow pollinia sacs are the point where
the Orchid needs a pollinator to come to. 
And that's where the Spider is waiting!
Flower Spider waiting besides the yellow pollinia of the Bird Orchid
Cunning little things, aren't they?
It was tiny - not much bigger than a match-head.


mick said...

Great photos, Denis. I love the way the macro photos show things not readily visible - like the tiny spider.
Lovely heath plants in the previous post. Is the leucopogon the one with the beautiful perfume?

Mr. Smiley said...

It's just an orchid paradise down your way!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks David.
Pot calling the Kettle Black?
You lot have all the Epiphytes.
We do nicely on Ground Orchids. But our Spring season Orchids are just starting.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
The Spider was not seen by me until I developed the photos (as often happens).
Re the Leucopogon, no that one doesn't have any noticeable perfume, unfortunately. But on the plus side, it isn't spiky.
Like most of them, it is a prolific flowerer.
Just the start of a good season to come, I hope.
Bucketting down rain outside, now. I was lucky to get that one clear, dry day.

Wilma said...

wonderful macro photographs, Denis. You really make their "inner jewel" shine for your readers.


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Wilma.
"Inner jewel" - nicely expressed.