Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Blue and Purple Orchid flowers

These Orchids were all flowering together, under a very wide powerline easement, south-west from Nowra, last weekend. It was a wonderful display.

For me, the thrill was to get nice specimens of Cyanicula caerulea I have only seen one specimen of this plant before.  
Cyanicula caerulea
The name is meant to refer to the flower being "sky blue", which is a bit off the mark, to my eyes. But it is still a lovely flower. It was originally classed as a "Caladenia" which is entirely understandable.
Labellum and column of Cyanicula caerulea.
This lovely flower is a slightly mutant form of Glossodia major also known as the Waxlip Orchid. This species is very variable in colour, with many specimens being spotted, as this one is. Alan Stephenson has photographed pure white specimens, but I have never seen such a form. The prominent V-shaped labellum is diagnostic.
A spotted form of Glossodia minor

Normally Glossodia minor is a very small flower, on a stem about100mm tall. The preceding species is twice as high. However, this plant was about 150 mm high and nearly as wide in flower as the larger species. Was it a hybrid between the two?
Glossodia minor - a large specimen, possibly a hybrid.
This plant always has two strange little glands jutting out in front of the column. Click to enlarge the image above, to see that detail.


Flabmeister said...

Last year we had carpets of Cyanicula and G. major. This year, not a skerrick of either thus far.

I am told that patience is a virtue!


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
My plants were photographed at Nowra, which ought be marketed as the "Riviera of the South Coast".
My own area is much much later.
You can expect the same thing.
I remember feeling jealous of you, with the Cyaniculas, last year.
A quick check of your Blog reveals it was posted on 22 Sept 2010.

So .... patience, as you say.

Lovely little things, aren't they? No wonder we get excited by them.