It is always so exciting to see the first Small Helmet Orchid, Corybas unguiculatus, in flower. These tiny orchids are just starting to flower at Moggs Creek where there is a large colony growing in leaf litter around the eucalypts.
Small Helmet Orchid
Tiny little reddish hooded flowers with tiny white petals and sepals can be seen on top of ground hugging heart-shaped leaves. The short stalk is just 10mm in height. This orchid should be found in other areas. Please let us know of any discoveries.
The two other Helmet Orchids in our area, Veined Helmet Orchid, C.diemenicus, and Slaty Helmet Orchid, C. incurvus, flower a little later. A fourth Helmet Orchid, the Swamp Helmet Orchid, C. fordhamii, is extremely rare and found in swampy areas which makes it particularly hard to find unless the area has been burnt making access possible. They are all tiny but grow in colonies, so look for groups of the small, ground hugging leaves first.
Banded Greenhoods, Pterostylis sanguinea, and Mosquito Orchids, Acianthus pusillus, continue to flower in many areas. Both species are long-flowering and will be seen for some months. Banded Greenhoods, Pterostylis sanguinea, can be seen in many places though hard to see as they are quite short at present and blend into the surrounding vegetation. Mosquito Orchids are flowering well in woodland areas.
The cold wet weather has not encouraged our winter greenhoods to produce flowers as yet although there are some extensive colonies of rosettes to be seen. The first Nodding Greenhoods, P. nutans, are just starting to flower, and a few Trim Greenhoods, P. concinna, have been encouraged to open their buds. Tall Greenhoods, P. melagramma, Blunt Greenhoods, P.curta and Dwarf Greenhoods, P. nana, are also in bud waiting for some warmer weather to encourage them to open.
Colony of Nodding Greenhood rosettes
Please make sure you let us know of any unusual sightings you have. In particular watch the recently burnt areas throughout the district 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 well on its way to publication.