Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Little Dumpies" - Diplodium truncatum - Greenhoods burst into flower

Kirsten sent me a message today, that she had found a colony of "Little Dumpies" - Diplodium truncatum.

It was a quiet day in Robbo, so once the clock passed 3:00PM when the RMS (formerly the RTA) people opened up Macquarie Pass, I drove down the Pass, to check them out.

I have seen Little Dumpies previously, a few on Mt Gibraltar, several years ago, and a good group at Bungonia Gorge, last year. But they are not "common" around here, well, not in my experience.

This is the best, (densest) colony of these Greenhoods
which I have ever seen.
A dense colony of "Little Dumpies" Diplodium truncatum
These plants have a very abrupt point to the "galea" (the hood) which is shown well in this illustration from PlantNET.

Botanical illustration from PlantNET
"Little Dumpies" Diplodium truncatum

These plants were growing amongst dense plants of Kangaroo Grass, at Croom Reserve, Albion Park, NSW. The grass was very dense, and these plants seemed as if they ought have been quite overgrown, but clearly they were not troubled by the grass.
"Little Dumpies" Diplodium truncatum
These Diplodium plants form rosettes on non-flowering plants.
The flowering plants have their flowers emerge directly from the ground
without any rosette leaves.
Many non-flowering rosettes of "Little Dumpies" Diplodium truncatum

"Little Dumpies" Diplodium truncatum
Because these Greenhoods were growing amongst dense Kangaroo Grass, they were difficult to count, but I estimate that there were about 150 flowers growing in a patch 1.5 metres long by 1 metre wide. There were 3, main clusters of these Greenhoods, growing in clearings between the clumps of the Kangaroo Grass.

An interesting note is that these plants are flowering much earlier than I have previously seen them flower (admittedly in the Southern Highlands), on 3 May 2011 (at Bungonia) and 8 May 2009 (on Mt Gibraltar).

There is some colour variation between these flowers and those at Bungonia, which are much more reddish.


Le Loup said...

Flora in general is just amazing. When I bought this forest over 25 years ago there was no understory, the stock had eaten everything it could. Now 25 years later I am still finding new plants I have not seen here before & the undergrowth is still growing back.
Regards, Keith.

Denis Wilson said...

Ni Keith.
You make a good point about the ability of plants to recover.
This patch of light timber has been burnt, overgrown with woody weeds (Lantana, etc) and yet the little native plants keep on coming through.
The wet season seems to have advantaged these "Little Dumpies".
It would be great to have a "plants person" examine your patch of forest, and see what is hiding in there.