The Purple Beard Orchid, Calochilis robertsonii, is a robust, tall orchid (to 45 cm) with up to seven greenish flowers with red stripes. The labellum is covered with dense purple hairs, lighter at the tip which is sometimes bare.
If you look closely at the base of the column there are two eye-like glands. When it has several flowers, it can have a long flowering period. It is the most common Beard Orchid in Victoria but not common in our area. The fleshy leaf is almost as tall as the plant.
Red Beard, Naked Beard and Copper Beard Orchids will also be seen soon though they are rarer. The best time to look for these attractive orchids is on warm humid days when they open widely.
Alison Watson and Margaret MacDonald