This is a wonderful time of the year for observing our many flowering orchids. The Waxlip Orchids, Glossodia major, are looking spectacular throughout the area, with shades of purple and blue and occasionally white.
October is the time to look for our beautiful sun orchids with many buds ready to open once we get some hot weather. Already the early flowering ones can be seen in the district. Rabbit Ears, Thelymitra antennifera, are delightful to see with their bright yellow flowers opening readily throughout the bushland. They have a sweet citrus fragrance.
Another yellow sun orchid is the Twisted Sun Orchid, T. flexuosa, which is also flowering now. It is a smaller, lighter yellow flower with a definite twisted stem. The flowers only open for a short time on warm, humid days.
Twisted Sun Orchid
The Great Sun Orchid, T. aristata, with its tall multi-flowered stalks has been seen already flowering on sunny days and the smaller blue spotted orchid, Rush-leaf Sun Orchid, T. juncifolia, has occasionally opened for us to admire.
Great Sun Orchid
Rush-leaf Sun Orchid
Many other sun orchids are in bud including Salmon Sun Orchid, T. rubra, Pink Sun Orchid, T. carnea, and other blue sun orchids that have yet to reveal their identity.
Lots of spider orchids are flowering including the Heart-lipped Spider Orchid , Caladenia cardiochila, Plain-lipped Spider Orchid, C. clavigera, Small Greencomb Spider, C. parva, Southern Spider Orchid, C. australis, Mantis Orchid, C. tentaculata, and the most impressive, Large White Spider Orchid, C. venusta. There are some very tall specimens of this species standing above knee height.
Southern Spider Orchid
Large White Spider Orchid
We have not managed to find Robust Spider Orchid, C. valida which has been missing now for several years.
The finger orchids have been appearing throughout the district. Lovely patches of Pink Fingers, C. carnea, are flowering well.
The larger White Fingers, C. catenata, are also flowering well, with their range in the district seemingly extending.
Our endemic species, C. maritima, has had an excellent flowering season with many attractive specimens and unfortunately a good number of attractive hybrids between C. maritima and C. carnea. Pink Fairies, C. latifolia, are flowering in the coastal dunes.
The burnt areas have offered some great viewing. It has been quite thrilling to see large colonies of Hare Orchids, Leptoceras menziesii, flowering profusely in a recently burnt heathy woodland area and these should continue for the next few weeks.
Also in a burnt area in Anglesea hundreds of Red Beaks, Pyrorchis nigricans, are in bud and we are looking forward to a wonderful display on this hillside in a few weeks. Leek Orchid Prasophyllum sp. buds are also emerging from the flower stalks, and we are looking forward to seeing these opening soon.
The Maroonhoods, Pterostylis pedunculata, look stunning amongst mossy understorey. The endemic Bearded Greenhood, P. unicornis are flowering in many places and look impressive with their pointed hood and forked lateral sepals.
Brown Beaks, Lyperanthus suaveolens, have flowered again this year under the Sugar Gums, managing to escape the controlled burn, roadside slashing and mulching. About 30 are flowering and are well camouflaged amongst sedges and dianella species.
Donkey Orchids, Diuris orientis, many with varying colours and multi flower heads, are appearing in a variety of woodland and heathland areas now, with some quite tall plants.
Flying Duck Orchids, Caleana major, though small, are in bud in their harsh gravel pit environments and should be ready to flower by the end of the month.
Common Bird Orchid, Chiloglottis valida, is popping up in many places. It is an impressive flower looking like a wide-open beak of a baby bird.
Thank-you to those people who have been sharing your discoveries. Please let us know if you find something special. We appreciate your support and it is so important to record all sightings.
All our orchids are documented and photographed in Orchids of the Anglesea District available from ANGAIR.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.