Skip to main content

This is a lovely time to be spotting the Rosy Hyacinth Orchid, Dipodium roseum, that is appearing along tracks and roadsides and in reserves around Anglesea and Aireys Inlet. The varying shades of pink are certainly eye-catching especially if the sunlight is highlighting the flowers. Many are flowering and there are many more in bud.


Rosy Hyacinth Orchid

We have had a few records of the rare Spotted Hyacinth Orchid, D. pardalinum, which often grows alongside the Rosy Hyacinth Orchid. You need to look closely at the labellum of the Spotted Hyacinth to see if it has spots, as this is a very distinguishing feature. The labellum of the Rosy Hyacinth is distinctively striped.

Spotted Hyacinth Orchid

We were thrilled to stumble across the rare Dark-tipped Greenhood, Pterostylis atrans, in a new site in Aireys Inlet in early December while we were following an overgrown track. When we looked closely there were a number of tiny rosettes in close proximity so it is an area to watch in the future. At a site at Moggs Creek where this orchid has been seen previously, we are pretty certain we found the rosettes and some spent flowers. This species has not been recorded in the district for many years so this was a great find.

Dark-tipped Greenhood

Another exciting find again in early December was a single specimen of the Black-tongue Caladenia, Caladenia congesta, flowering on the side of a track at Eastern View. This species was first recorded in this area in 1992 but we are not aware that it has appeared since then. Its bright pink flowers and long narrow pink labellum crowded with tightly packed, shiny black calli make it a very spectacular orchid. Although we revisited the site later in the month this was the only specimen we sighted. The orchid world is certainly a complex one!

Black-tongue Caladenia

Flying Duck Orchids, Caleana major, are nearing the end of their flowering but a few may still be seen along the edges of tracks.

Small Duck Orchids, Caleana minor, flowered exceptionally well in the Moggs Creek area with clusters of flowering stems appearing. They have continued to flower throughout January.

smallduckgroupSmall Duck Orchid group

Small numbers of Horned Orchids, Orthoceras strictum, are still flowering in the district and some very impressive specimens to 80cm tall were observed on the Currawong Falls Track in mid January.

Horned Orchid

The elusive Elbow Orchids, Thynninorchis huntianus, are flowering well in their usual spot on a steep gravelly track at the back of Anglesea. It’s amazing how they survive in such an inhospitable situation. Only one specimen was recorded on the Eumeralla track where they are often sighted, and a small group was also observed at Moggs Creek while exploring with the ANOS group in late November. The species is so small and difficult to see that it is certain to be found in many other areas.

Elbow Orchid

Despite the heavy rainfall in 2021 there were just two flowers of the Large Tongue Orchid, Cryptostylis subulata, observed in their usual spot near Red River Track. Their habitat is becoming denser as the heathland plants grow. They were however observed flowering at Moggs Creek again, where they were still looking amazing in mid January. A new record of two flowers was also observed on Currawong Falls Track near the Horned orchids.

Large Tongue Orchid

We were not able to find Tall Cinnamon Bells, Gastrodia procera, flowering in our area this summer but they were observed flowering well at Forrest, often at the base of tall eucalypts. We did not check where they had been sighted near Sheoak picnic ground last season. Perhaps someone may have observed them there.

tallcinnamonTall Cinnamon Bells

After such a great flowering season for the Austral Leek Orchid, Prasophylum australe, in 2021, we were very disappointed to find just one specimen in December 2022.

southernleekAustral Leek Orchid

Autumn orchids will start to appear soon and include the first of the Midge orchids – the Sharp Midge Orchid, Corunastylis despectans, Parsons Bands, Eriochilus cucullatus and the first of the Greenhoods -Tiny Greenhood, Pterostylis parviflora, and Brown-tipped Greenhood, P. clivosa. The leaves of the Autumn Bird Orchid, Chiloglottis curviclavia should be seen soon especially if we have some rain.

We hope you are enjoying your orchid experiences and also 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 on the Publications page of this website and from Anglesea News & Lotto and Great Escape Books in Aireys Inlet.

Margaret MacDonald Alison Watson