So many other orchids are flowering, although it is certainly a late orchid season. You will most likely find orchids regardless of where you walk, so it is a good idea to bring along your orchid guide Orchids of the Anglesea District (more details and order here).
There are so many species of interest that it is diffcult to only mention only a few, such as eg Mantis Orchid Caladenia tentaculata which is flowering in large numbers in so many places and Tiger Orchid Diuris sulphurea, listed as uncommon in our district, but this year flowering in much larger numbers.
Caladenia tentaculata is a large greencomb spider orchid, standing to about 40 cm tall and bearing one or two flowers. The petals and sepals are green, with a maroon stripe down the centre. The labellum is white, with a deep maroon tip and green marginal teeth that extend well above the top of the column. There is a great display of these orchids between the noticeboard and the toilets at the Moggs Creek Picnic Ground.
Diuris sulphurea is a tall orchid to 50 cm, with 3–5 bright yellow flowers that have two, distinctive, dark blotches on the dorsal sepal. The petals spread widely, and the lateral sepals extend downwards. It has flowered well in its usual habitat at the Edna Bowman Reserve at Anglesea, but we have also had some very good records from Aireys Inlet and Moggs Creek. Perhaps you have seen it in other places. The Tiger Orchid is the last of our four species of Diuris to flower – Leopard, Golden Moth, Donkey and Tiger.
Although the Sun Orchids have been disappointing because of the cooler weather, there were a few occasions when we were able to admire the beauty of these spring flowering species – blue, yellow, pink and white. The Blotched Sun Orchid Thelymitra benthamiana is flowering in a few places at the present time.
Many other orchids have been observed throughout the district. Large White Spider Orchids Caladenia venusta have been most spectacular, and there were some very beautiful hybrids between this species and C. tentaculata. These hybrids, as you would expect, have varying features of both parents.
An interesting find earlier in spring was the discovery of White Fingers Caladenia catenata – a new record for our district, and one to be included in the next edition of the orchid book! It is very similar to the white flowers of Caladenia carnea, but the flowers are larger, and the labellum lacks the red striations.
Red beard orchids Calochilus paludosus and Purple Beard C. robertsonii are in flower, but we have not had reports of Copper Beard Orchids C. campestris or Naked Beard Orchids C. imberbis. Flying Ducks Caleana major, Small Duck Orchids Paracaleana minor, the tiny Eastern Bronze Caladenia Caladenia transitoria, Onion Orchids Microtis sp. and Leek Orchids Prasophyllum sp. can also be seen in various habitats. We were thrilled to find the Short-lip Leek Orchid Prasophyllum brevilabre in the burnt area near Distillery Creek. If you are walking on any of the open burnt area tracks be alert for this species, and other Leek Orchids, that respond so well to fire.