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With autumn drawing to an end and winter approaching, the Greenhood Orchids are dominant in the district. Tiny Greenhoods, Pterostylis parviflora, and Brown-tipped Greenhoods, P. clivosa, have almost finished flowering but there are still some to be found.

Banded Greenhoods, P. sanguinea, are flowering well and looking attractive as they open up displaying their reddish-brown nodding flowers, which are strongly marked with dark stripes.

Banded Greenhoods

Most impressive is the spectacular patch of Striped Greenhoods, P. striata, in their O’Donohue Rd heathy habitat. There are too many to count this year with more still in bud.

stripedgreenhoodgroupStriped Greenhood group

They have a translucent effect when the light shines through them in a certain way.

Striped Greenhood

Many Tall Greenhoods, P. melagramma, are in bud in many areas. If you look close to the emerging flower stem you may notice the leafy rosette of the non-flowering plants. Rosettes of other species are also appearing – Nodding Greenhoods, P. nutans, Trim Greenhoods, P. concinna, and Dwarf Greenhoods, P. nana, with a few in bud already.

pterostylisnutansrosetteNodding Greenhood rosette

pterostylisconcinnarosetteTrim Greenhood rosette

pterostylisnanarosetteDwarf Greenhood rosette

The tiny insect-like flowers of Mosquito Orchids, Acianthus pusillus, are appearing above their heart-shaped leaves in many places, while tiny leaves of Gnat Orchids, Cyrtostylis reniformis, and Hare Orchids, Leptoceras menziesii, have been seen pushing their way through the soil.

Mosquito Orchid

cyrtostylisreniformisleafGnat Orchid leaf

Helmet Orchids, Corybas sp., are starting to appear with leaves and buds of Small Helmet Orchids, C. unguiculatus, observed in mid May. This is the first of the Corybas orchid species to flower in the district, usually in June. Veined Helmet Orchids, C. diemenicus, will then appear, followed by the more widespread Slaty Helmet Orchids, C. incurvus. Their ground-hugging leaves will be noticeable before the flowers appear.

Fringed Hare Orchids, Leporella fimbriata, are still delighting viewers at the Fraser Ave site and can also be found flowering in other places around Anglesea if you look carefully.

Amongst the Fringed Hare populations at Fraser Ave, early leaves of Flying Duck Orchids, Caleana major, have been observed. The pinkish-green or often reddish-brown, spotted, ground-hugging leaf reveals the presence of this orchid long before the flowers appear. These orchids will usually start flowering in October.

flyingduckleafFlying Duck Orchid leaf

Leaves of spring flowering orchids including Sun Orchids, Waxlips, Spider Orchids and Red Beaks can be seen if you look closely. We hope spring will bring a productive orchid season.

Please make sure you let us know of any unusual sightings you have. Please watch the recently burnt areas for interesting orchids emerging.

All our orchids are documented and photographed in Orchids of the Anglesea District, unfortunately now out of print. A new edition is very close to publication.

Margaret MacDonald Alison Watson