Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spring Orchids on a sunny day.

 Well, thanks to everyone for their support in organising a sunny day yesterday, for our Orchid tour.
A very pleasant day was had by all.
Confusing, as ever when it comes to working out appropriate IDs for plants
some of which are extremely variable, as you will see.
We started out with the local show-piece Sarcochilus falcatus
Another nice clump of Sarcochilus falcatus.

We then moved down to Kangaloon and found these beauties just opening for the first time this season.
Sun Orchids refuse to open when it is not warm and sunny.
On advice from Colin I have edited several names.
Colin suggests this is Thelymitra x truncata
Thelymitra media - a nice tall, strong Sun Orchid.
 Here is one of the tiny Pink Sun Orchids which are very common locally.
These plants are notorious for opening only in warm sunny weather.
Thelymitra carnea - the Pink Sun Orchid
Next is another common Sun Orchid, the Slender Sun Orchid (Thelymitra pauciflora)
It is not a showy plant.
Pale colour, thin stem, relatively small flower.
Thelymitra pauciflora

Next we get into the hybrid Sun Orchids.
The following plants are all variants on a theme.
They are all descended from Thelymitra ixioides
but they show the parentage of the tiny pink "carnea" as well.
Sun Orchids are notoriously susceptible to hybridisation
as they tend to open at the same time, 
in close proximity to eachother.
The bees and other insects do the rest.
I thought this was Thelymitra x irregularis. But Colin disagrees
Colin thinks this is a pink colour form, of Thel. ixioides
This final plant is a large floppy flower, with some spots, a lilac colour.
But it is the different tip of the column which is most distinctive.

The Sun Orchid which we really wanted to see - Thelymitra kangaloonica - an endangered species known to grow in Butler's Swamp, Kangaloon, was not yet properly open. We found a few in bud, but not nearly as many as last year. Presumably this is down to seasonal variations. 

I have posted an album from yesterday with many more species in flower than in this Blog (because it would take far to long to present and to read through. You can have a quick look, and select certain flowers to look at, if you wish, by going to my Picasa Album for yesterday's outing,  which is now open to public viewing.
It includes three species of Beard Orchids, Flying Duck Orchid, lots of Stegostylas (Caladenia type plants) and a Potato Orchid. It also has photos of another local plant, which is an as-yet un-named Leek Orchid.


mick said...

Beautiful, beautiful flowers. I went and looked at your Picasso album as well. Amazing to see so many different flowers in one day.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mick
It was a good day out, even by our usual standards.
It is now "peak season" for the "Pretties". Several months ago, we might have seen as many species, but many would have been tiny, green, brown or grey things.
Three weeks ago, we were finding hundreds of little "Finger Orchids", but once the Sun Orchids start up, ti really can be spectacular.
And then there are of course, lots of other pretty flowering "natives" - things like the Sowerbaea juncea (the Vanilla Rush Lily). And next two weeks the Trigger Plants will take over. And there are the Waratahs still flowering.
I love the sandstone and heath country in Springtime.
And the other good thing is that while I need sunny weather to get the Sun Orchids, at least I know they will still be there tomorrow, unlike those pesky birds which can fly away!

catmint said...

what a day, to see so many different orchids.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Catmint
Even for this area, it was a big day.
Great fun.