Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Spring Is coming in a rush, in the "bush".

This post will primarily be about Orchids, but let me just say that the "bush" is coming alive in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands. And it looks great!

Wattles are in flower everywhere, lining the roads and tracks, and the Pea flowers are climbing, scrambling or in the case of the shrubby ones, just standing up and flowering their little heads off.

But amongst these shrubs, the spring-flowering Orchids are just coming into flower too.

Just down my local hill, below Macquarie Pass, at Albion Park, the rare and endangered Illawarra Greenhood - better known simply as "gibbosas", have started to flower. 

The name Oligochaetochilus gibbosus amounts to the unpronounceable in search of the "bent over". 

Gibbous means humpbacked. The other part of the name, refers to its few spiky hairs on the labellum.

It is listed under the EPBC Act as Endangered, because of its limited distribution.

Here is the flower seen from the side
It is demonstrating its "gibbous" posture.
Oligochaetochilus gibbosus
And from the front, with the labellum "set"
Oligochaetochilus gibbosus
The EPBC Act recovery plan for this species includes this Pterostylis gibbosa drawing by A. W. Dockrill (reproduced from The Orchardian Volume 12, Number 3, March 1997 with the permission of the Editor)
">Botanical drawing of this species by AW Dockrill
In the same area, is found a cousin of that first species, Hymenochilus bicolor
It is a Midget Greenhood which has been renamed. In common parlance it is called the Black-tip Greenhood, in reference to its labellum. 
Black-tip Greenhood Hymenochilus bicolor


In the same area I found the first of the regular spring "Caladenias"

This is Petalochilus carneus, best known as "Pink Fingers"
Petalochilus carneus
 There is often considerable variation between different flowers.
Pink Fingers Orchid  Petalochilus carneus
There will be many more of these "Spring Orchids" over the next few days. 
Time and space are running out on me.


Wilma said...

It is somehow hopeful to me that as we are contemplating autumn, you are entering spring. Beautiful photos of lovely minuscule orchids; lovely things.

catmint said...

Hi Denis, yes it is so wonderful that spring is here. You are lucky to see all those superb orchids. I love the Pink Fingers and of course the greenhoods. cheers, c

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Wilma and Catmint.
Masses more photos (and much better ones) to follow.
I had a full day out in Nowra area today. Thousands of Orchids - literally thousands of them. You will be pleased to know I didn't photograph them all!