On February 10, the first flowering Autumn Wasp Orchids, Chiloglottis curviclavia, appeared. We were looking for their tiny, paired leaves and suddenly, there they were, fully formed perfect dainty flowers. These were early specimens, and with a little rain we expect many more leaves and hopefully some more flowers to appear.
Autumn Wasp Orchid
We were pleased to find two buds of the Sharp Midge Orchid, Corunastylis despectans, on No. 2 Rd on February 13. They were so tiny that we surprised ourselves that we managed to discover them.
Sharp Midge Orchid in flower
Other Midge Orchids – Fringed Midge Orchids, C. ciliata, and Bearded Midge Orchids, C. morrissii should also be starting to appear. Midge orchids are all difficult to see as they are tiny and hidden amongst the grasses but are worth looking for the detail of their tiny flowers.
Fringed Midge Orchid
Bearded Midge Orchid
This is also the time to start looking for Parson’s Bands, Eriochilis cucullatus, in forest, woodland and heathland areas. Look out for the tiny splash of white of their lateral sepals standing out against the surrounding vegetation. They are delicately perfumed with the nectar attracting native bees. Occasionally pale pink flowers may also be seen.
The first of the Greenhoods should be starting to appear in the next few weeks —Tiny Greenhoods, Pterostylis parviflora, and Brown-tipped Greenhoods, P. clivosa. The small rosettes develop beside the slender stems at flowering time.
Later in April, Fringed Hare Orchids Leporella fimbriata, should start to flower and Mosquito Orchids, Acianthus pusillus, will be producing their heart shaped leaves.
Fringed Hare Orchid
Mosquito Orchid leaves
We are hopeful for some autumn rain to help all our orchids. Despite all the rain we had in 2022 the bushland appears very dry at the present time. One wonders just how do these fragile flowers push their way up through the compacted soil.
We hope you are enjoying your orchid experiences. It is so much more challenging at this time of the year apart from a few colourful Hyacinth Orchids, Dipodium roseum, that are still brightening up the bush.
We also hope you are enjoying your copy of the new edition of Orchids of the Anglesea District. So many people have told us they are really enjoying using it. Please make sure you let us know of any unusual sightings you have. This is how we keep a complete record of orchids in the district.
All of our orchids are documented and photographed in Orchids of the Anglesea District. The new edition costing $30.00 is available from the Angair Natural History Centre on Monday and Thursday mornings, online through the Publications page of this website and from Anglesea News & Lotto and Great Escape Books in Aireys Inlet.