Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, September 02, 2011

More "Finger Orchids" (Caladenias)

These plants were so popular when known as Caladenias. The name Petalochilus lacks the benefits of familiarity and simplicity.
But they are the same gorgeous things which they ever were.
Here are some members of this genus, all found at Nowra and Jervis Bay last weekend.

Petalochilus alatus -  a sweet little flower.
The two side petals are typically held out in a cross-shaped pattern.
Petalochilus alatus - front view.
Pale pink with bright sides of the labellum, and a yellow tip.
Petalochilus alatus - from the side.
From the rear, one sees pale pink stripes. 
It is not as dark and hairy as Pet fuscatus.
Petalochilus alatus - rear view
Even I would have to acknowledge that this is a 
particularly dark and handsome specimen 
of what is normally regarded as  a fairly drab species. 
This plant earns is name of "fuscatus" meaning "dusky".

A particularly colourful specimen of Petalochilus fuscatus
Petalochilus fuscatus
 A front and rear view together of this species.
2 plants of Petalochilus fuscatus
Note the strong crimson banding on the Labellum

In Kangaloon and a Fitzroy Falls (on top of the Illawarra Plateau)
this is our most common "Caladenia".
These plants were seen at Nowra and Jervis Bay last weekend.
This is typically what one sees when walking through the bush.
By that I mean, this is how one sees it, when walking past the plant.
Petalochilus carneus - as seem when standing up over the flower
To get a better view one needs to "get down and dirty".
Petalochilus carneus - as seen in a close-up image
 Here is the closely related 
(and more spectacular) 
Petalochilus hillmanii
Here it is seen close-up.
Petalochilus hillmanii - close-up of labellum

I would have to confess that I have chosen relatively strongly marked individuals of these very variable species (from the hundreds of photos I took).
In truth, it is often confusing for me, to work out whether I have a pale form of  a "carneus" or a "fuscatus". 

And even the "hillmanii" and "carneus" can be a bit confusing when one finds less strongly marked plants. One thing helps, Petalochilus hillmanii is ***not found up on the Escarpment, and I have not seen Petalochilus alatus up here, either - not yet, anyway.
*** see my report (23 September 2011) of this species on Cambewarra Mountain at 600 metres above sea level - a new height record for this species.


Angela Jansz said...

beautiful, how long are they flowering for?

Denis Wilson said...

In general, a few weeks for each species, but the good news is that there is a progression of species, and other "pretties" to follow.
Still not much in flower in the Highlands.
Once the local ones start, guided tours will be available. :-))

Wilma said...

Little jewels, Denis! I particularly like the side view of the first one.


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Wilma
There is something for everyone to choose from.
That image has the best "composition" - balance, etc.
I prefer the last flower (2nd last image), but it is not as well balanced in the frame. But more colour.
Nice that you can choose.

Angela Jansz said...

Book me in for a tour. But remember I have to drive. I will bring a picnic to compensate for being a pain