Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Penrose and Tallong Cemeteries

Today I went with some local botanical artists to see some of the local Orchids which survive with little disturbance at Penrose Cemetery and Tallong Cemetery. This year was drier than in previous years, and so, many of the orchids had finished flowering already. And at Tallong the Goulburn-Mulwarree Council mowers had destroyed the famous collection of purple Diuris plants there. Alan Stephenson was less than impressed, as he had an arrangement with the Parks and Gardens supervisor; except that chap had moved jobs, and had not left a file note for the new incumbent.

But here are some of the Orchids we did find. And an unusual "flower Spider".

Thelymitra pauciflora

Side view of the column of
Thelymitra pauciflora
These flowers were heavily reflexed
in the warm, sunny weather

Purple Bearded Orchid
Calochilus platychilus
(formerly known as Cal. robertsonii)

two flowers of Calochilus platychilus

Thelymitra ixioides
Spotted Sun Orchid

Diuris sulphurea
Tiger Donkey Orchid

Two forms of Purple Diuris
Diuris punctata
from Tallong (left) and Penrose (right)

Spotted spider on Daviesia latifolia.

Pink form of Thelymitra pauciflora


Mr. Smiley said...

Denis and all

Your readers might be intrigued to learn that the late MJD White, the noted geneticist, and my predecessor at CSIRO Entomology (it has a different meaningless name now) the late Ken Key spent a lot of time in rural cemeteries.

They were not interested in the contents of the coffins but the flora that existed there. Rural cemeteries are often neglected and overgrown and have a nice array of native plants, especially grasses and herbs, that are not found in the adjacent agricultural lands that are often stripped of their native biota.

Ken and Michael published many papers of the morabine (Stick grasshoppers) grasshoppers that live on grasses and herbs in cemeteries. In fact, a few cemeteries are type localities for species that have been described from there.

So it is nice to know they harbour some nice orchids as well.

Love the polka-dot spider.
D Rentz

Flabmeister said...

It is unfortunate that most cemetery managers have no idea. I am happy to leave that statement as a generalisation but specifically they have no idea about the natural wealth of which they have custody. Nor how to conserve it.

This rant follows
> the Mongarlowe RFS mower blitz of the last two years and
> the incineration of Dalton a few weeks ago.

More strength to Alan's push to get some sense into them!


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks David and Martin
I have copied both your comments to Alan Stephenson, from the Orchid Society (ANOS), who is compiling notes on the importance of and abuse of cemeteries.
Thanks guys.
Nice point about those stick Grasshoppers Dave.
One of those things one sees occasionally, then tends to forget about (unless one is a specialist).

J Gray said...

these flowers are beautiful! how lucky you are to see and capture these photos.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Judith.
We have not been having a good season, this year.
But those few species were flowering quite well.
Sun Orchids can be fussy.
Thanks for the comment.