Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Searching for missing Leek Orchids

Alan Stephenson and I went to Major's Creek cemetery to search for a mysterious Leek Orchid which was once reported from that site. We were joined in the search by Martin and Frances Butterfield. We couldn't find this missing species, this year. Perhaps next year.

We did find a few other things, however.
I am endebted to Alan for having provided all the photographs in this blog. I am having trouble with my flash unit of my Camera, so Alan agreed to provide me copies of his images.

The Majors Creek Cemetery is looking very good, with the grasses and various other Orchids, and native plants in flower. Everything was looking great, I must say.

Diuris punctata - the Purple Donkey Orchid
These plants at Major's Creek had lovely long lateral sepals
protruding far below the labellum.
(Unfortunately this shot is over-exposed
That is one of the problems of
photographing plants in the rain.)

Diuris pardina
These plants were very strongly marked
and quite noticeably reddish.
The "ears" (petals) are held high.
Diuris pardina
The lateral sepals are curved around,
underneath the labellum,
in this species.
Note the dark brown marks on the
back of the petals.
This is a very localised form of the Grevillea juniperina. It is reported from Braidwood to Nerriga - exactly where I found it growing, beside the road in to Stewart's Crossing (of the Upper Shoalhaven River). It was completely prostrate. Less than 6 inches high, but spreading to several metres wide. Rich bronze-yellow flowers. 
Grevillea juniperina subsp. amphitricha


Grevillea juniperina subsp. amphitricha
Stewart's Crossing, Upper Shoalhaven River.
A lovely looking place, but presumably abused in summer.
The sand bed has been chewed up by cars, unfortunately.
But I am pleased to say that there is a good protective barrier to stop
damage to the riverbanks which are well grassed.

Microtis parviflora
This was found on day 2 of our trip - south from Ulladulla.
It was a new species for me - Sarcochilus australis . It is also known as Gunn's Orchid, revealing that it is found in Tasmania as well as Victoria and southern NSW (hence the name "australis" meaning "southern").

Sarcochilus australis

Unfortunately these lovely flowers were hard to photograph
and are somewhat over-exposed.
Sarcochilus australis

Beside where the Sarcochilus were growing
I found this nest of a Yellow Robin.

This plant is the reason for our visit to an area south from Termeil, in a patch of State Forest.
This is a very rare spring-flowering species of Midge Orchid, Corunastylis vernalis.
This species is listed as "Vulnerable" under the Federal EPBC Act, and has the same status on the NSW Threatened Species Act.
Corunastylis vernalis

Whole plant of
Corunastylis vernalis
As you can see there is not much of it.

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