Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Its Springtime in Kangaloon

How quickly things change. Several weeks ago only the very early spring wildflowers were evident. Then we had a three-week cold snap and everything just seemed to stop.

There is now so much happening out in the Sandstone-based forest at Kangaloon, it is hard to keep up with what is going on. I might take as many as 250 photos in a few hours, of many beautiful native plants.

Some I take just to try to document the species of the region. Very few of these images make to to my Blog.

Some, like this one, do make it to the Blog,
for reasons of the odd things which they show us.
In this case, it is a non-perfect Waratah. 
As the Waratah flowers mature, they ripen sequentially,
from the base of the inflorescence.
The Rosellas know this, and as the flowers full with nectar, 
the Rosellas chew off  the sweet flowers
(but from the base of the inflorescence up).
The non-chewed flowers (at the top) are not yet "ripe".
That's what you can see in this image.
The white bits are the "stumps" of the flowers which have been chewed off.
Waratah - chewed by Rosellas
How do I know that?
Well here's the evidence.

Flowers of Waratah on ground under the plant - dropped by Rosellas
The sad thing is that this defeats the pollination process of the Waratahs.

While the local wild Waratahs are magnificently tasty (apparently), the Native Irises (Patersonias) are just flowering wildly (as long as it is a sunny morning).
small flowered Patersonia sp. in dry area, and in full sun
Large flowered, tall Patersonia sp. in moist forest.
By contrast, this is a tiny Orchid with a bronze colouration. 
It is very hard to find amongst the grass.
It is called "Stegostyla transitoria"
It is one of two "bronze-coloured Caladenias" in Kangaloon in flower at present.
Stegostyla transitoria (note the "warty"calli on the labellum)
a low angle view of Stegostyla transitoria
 A close-up view of the "warty" labellum of this species.
Stegostyla transitoria - close-up of flower


mick said...

Very interesting what the Rosellas do to the Waratahs. I just hope the flowers are more numerous than the birds!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mick
Not all the local Rosellas seem to have learned the "trick". Some of the flowers do manage to set seed.
And fortunately there are quite a lot of these wonderful flowers in the bush.
But some people do go and cut the flowers entirely, which is worse, of course, as well as illegal.