Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, April 02, 2012

An Orchid Weekend - Saturday - part one

The Illawarra Branch of the Australasian Native Orchid Society had scheduled a trip to the Southern Highlands on Saturday, which troubled me, somewhat, as some of the local Orchids had been underwater, literally, for two weeks, and had no flowers left to see. Many other "autumn Orchids" had come and gone in February. What to show them?

We stuck with the plan and went to Budderoo to see the Mecopodum striatum plants out there. I had been able to show those plants to the Canberra Native Plant Society people the week before. This time, however, after three warm days in the middle of the week, most of those Orchids had finished too. We did see a few, however.
Mecopodum striatum
Then we set off for The Gib, where I was confident we would find some of the Scarlet Greenhoods (Diplodium coccinum) which grow there in dense ferns and long grass (under Eucalypt forest cover). It is always relatively hard work finding these plants, despite their relatively bright colour, because their flower heads are often buried amongst the grasses and ferns (or barely protruding),
Diplodium coccinum
growing amongst Maidenhair Ferns

Diplodium coccinum
A beautifully formed flower
These flowers grow progressively more reddish as they age.

From the front you can see the fine "tip" and
the points or "ears"
held out at a shallow angle on this
Diplodium coccinum

Acianthus exsertus
also growing on The Gib, with the
Diplodium coccinum plants
We then adjourned to Mittagong, for a pleasant lunch beside Lake Alexandra before going for a stroll around the tracks, at the base of Mt Alexandra where we found many more Orchids and other interesting things. More tomorrow.

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