Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, November 05, 2011

They're called Sun Orchids for a reason.

After finding the first buds (for this year) of the Thelymitra kangaloonica (Kangaloon Sun Orchid) last week, I have been back four times during the week to check on their progress.
Even though some days were what I would call "watery sunshine", it was not enough to persuade them to open.
Today was perfect. According to the local Rural Fire Service Automatic Weather monitoring station, we maxed out at 22.8 C today (in Robertson) - maybe a few extra degrees down lower, at Kangaloon. It is possibly more important that the Solar intensity was rated as extreme. Clear skies will do that.
Anyway, the plants I had been monitoring all popped their flowers today. One even managed to open 5 flowers on a single day.

Thelymitra kangaloonica growing amongst rushes, in a damp soak.
 The same plants a little closer up.
Thelymitra kangaloonica - the plant on the left opened 5 flowers today.
I have adopted this image as my Facebook Avatar.
I love this plant, and regard it as something of a personal Totem,
When this plant flowers, my heart sings.
It has a mauve back of the flower,
and some of that mauve colour shows on the front too,
but the front is clearly veined with dark blue stripes.
The top of the column (the post anther lobe") is distinctively notched.
The column arms and brushes are pure white.
A fresh flower of Thelymitra kangaloonica.
I guess I feel I have a proprietary interest in this plant
as I managed to nominate it on the EPBC Threatened Species List
Thelymitra kangaloonica -  nice side view as well as the front view.
 A cropped view of the "column" of this  species.
The yellow "post anther lobe" is very different from the
photos of columns of Thelymitra ixioides I published last week
Column details of Thelymitra kangaloonica
Column arms and brushes of Thelymitra kangaloonica
Side view showing the "brushes" on the column arms.
Here are two generalised habitat views - for Mick 
who always likes to know the habitat where the plants which I show grow.
 The main plants are grasses and rushes.
Some small Melaleucas, Grevilleas and Swamp Grass Trees
A wet soak, part of an "Upland Swamp"on sandstone

In the drier edges of the soak, the Lomandras take over, then Scribbly Gums.


mick said...

The Sun orchids are beautiful! Thanks for the habitat photos. The area looks rather similar to the one where I found sun orchids up here a few years back. Going back four times to find the flowers out is real dedication! but then that's how I have found where the shorebirds can be found round the bay. Anything you really want has to be hunted for I guess.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mick
You could have used the word obsession, rather than dedication, but yours is a nicer word.
You are right about the similarities in our interests, though - keep looking - that's the only way to know what's gong on out there.
I have one advantage, though, the Orchids don't physically move - at least not from day to day, moment to moment, as your birds do.

catmint said...

I call it passion - sounds better than dedication or obsession! very interesting, choosing this delicate complex plant as your avatar. Got me thinking what plant I would choose. (It's a slow think so there's no result yet) cheers, catmint

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Catmint.
I'll accept, "passion".
I look forward to your choice of avatar.
Careful with "catmint" as I had a cat which was "passionate" about nibbling on Catmint, getting "high" on it.