Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Having a feel for one's local area. Hunches can pay off.

Sometimes, one's instincts (or hunches) bear fruit.
This morning I set out to check an area opposite the Barren Grounds (approx 10 Km along the Jamberoo Mountain Road from Robertson). I had been in that area several years ago and found what I thought at the time were some Nodding Greenhoods (Pterostylis nutans).

I had a feeling that those plants warranted a good looking at, to double check the ID I had casually ascribed to those Orchids years before. And anyway, I hadn't been in that particular area for a few years.

Sure enough, I stopped opposite the Barren Grounds, walked back about 100 metres, to get past a thicket of native Stinging Nettles and some Native Raspberry prickles. I then walked off the road and quickly found a small colony of Greenhoods.

One look convinced me they were in fact not Pterostylis nutans, but the similar species Pterostylis hispidula (Small Nodding Greenhoods). 

Pterostylis hispidula
(Small Nodding Greehood).
The angle at which the Lateral Sepals
(otherwise known as "points" in most Greenhoods)
are held is distinctive.
Colony of Pterostylis hispidula
(Small Nodding Greehoods).

Pterostylis hispidula
(Small Nodding Greehood).
The bronze tinge on the tip of the "Hood" (Galea)
is also diagnostic.

Lateral view of Pterostylis hispidula
(Small Nodding Greehoods).
In this shot, the labellum is visible (with cobweb)

Pterostylis hispidula
(Small Nodding Greehoods).
The tip of the retracted labellum is just barely visible
These plants have sensitive labellums
which snap shut (inside the flower) if disturbed.
It is part of their pollination process.
I was also surprised to see a few flowers (nearly finished) of Spiranthes australis.
Spiranthes australis
amongst ferns in wet forest.
I am familiar with this species of Orchid, but I expect to see them in open swampy grasslands. But here they were growing in a wet grassy area, surrounded by Tree Ferns, Synoum and Lilly Pilly, and all were growing under tall wet sclerophyll Eucalypt forest.

No comments: