Although we would not like to see rainfall to the extent that has been falling in the north of the State, our autumn orchids have not found the very dry conditions conducive to growth.

Perhaps we may receive some showers in the next few weeks, and hopefully, it will not be too late for some of our autumn orchids to appear.

My wanderings last weekend, in our favourite orchid places at this time of the year, resulted in just five Bearded Midge Orchids Corunastylis morrisii, and one, very small Autumn Bird Orchid Chiloglottis reflexa, along with a few of the distinctive paired leaves of this species – some with tiny buds.

Autumn Bird Orchid

It is difficult to differentiate between this orchid and a more recently documented orchid for our area, Tall Bird Orchid Chiloglottis trilabra.

Tall Bird Orchid

However, looking at this one specimen of C. reflexa, I decided that the lateral sepals were reflexed, and that the large gland was more upright than C. trilabra, and had a distinct notch – three of the distinguishing features of Chiloglottis reflexa.

There was no sign of the Tall Bird Orchids Chiloglottis trilabra, the large flowering Autumn Greenhood Pterostylis sp. aff. revoluta or the Fringed Midge Orchids Corunastylis ciliata, all of which should be flowering at this time. Other autumn orchids to look out for in the next few weeks are Parson’s Bands Eriochilus cucullatus, Tiny Greenhoods Pterostylis parviflora, Brown Tipped Greenhoods Pterostylis sp. aff. parviflora, Sharp Midge Orchids Corunastylis despectans, and the very attractive Fringed Hare Orchids Leporella fimbriata.

Perhaps we should all be making plans to head north later in the year, as the spring orchids should be impressive following the heavy rains.

All the orchids mentioned in this article are described with accompanying photographs in Orchids of the Anglesea District available from ANGAIR.

Margaret MacDonald


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