With winter entering its last month, the second species of our helmet orchids, Corybas diemenicus Veined Helmet Orchid, is in full flower.

The small colony at Gum Flat, growing in natural habitat amongst the mosses, contrasts strongly with a new colony found on private land at Anglesea, growing in a mulched garden bed. The town dwellers (2.5-3 mm high) are just so much bigger and stronger than their country counterparts – almost twice the size.

Veined Helmet at Gum Flat

Veined Helmet at Anglesea

The dark, reddish flowers of this species are held on a short thick stem, and the labellum is flared with flat, coarsely toothed margins, and a white central mound. The dorsal sepal is hooded over the labellum, forming the helmet. The leaf is textured, heart-shaped and ground hugging.

Our third species of Helmet Orchids, Corybas incurvus Slaty Helmet Orchid, should be appearing soon.

Pterostylis melagramma Tall Greenhoods are just starting to flower.

Tall Greenhood

We found a few strong flowering stems in close proximity to each other on our July nature ramble at Moggs Creek, but when I returned, armed with the camera and the tripod, I found a hungry kangaroo had beaten me, and there were just a few nibbled-off stems remaining. A large Eastern Grey Kangaroo was on the site when I drove past this evening, so I guess he may have been the culprit. Tall Greenhoods do not form colonies, and reproduce only from seed. The rare P. chlorogramma Green-striped Greenhood is also flowering. Some very fine specimens were found on our recent Grevillea survey at Gum Flat.

P. curta Blunt Greenhood does not seem to be having a good season, with very few flowers observed to this stage. Other greenhoods you may see include P. concinna Trim Greenhood and P. nana Dwarf Greenhood.

As you walk on the bush tracks throughout the district, you are likely to find large colonies of Pterostylis nutans Nodding Greenhoods, with their translucent flowers looking most attractive in the sunlight. They are certainly eye-catching.

Colony of Nodding Greenhoods

August is the time to start looking for Leopard Orchids, Mayfly Orchids, Thick-lip Spider Orchids, Red-lipped Spider Orchids, Small Spider Orchids, Gnat Orchids, Bluebeard Orchids and Maroonhoods.  It is a great time to be out in the field.

Please let us know of your observations.

Photos and descriptions of all the orchids that grow in the Anglesea district are documented in Orchids of the Anglesea District available from ANGAIR.

Margaret MacDonald

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