It seems that this is the quietest time of the year for orchids.
The Midge Orchids are the first ones to look for. At the No 2 Rd site, after wandering across the dry, crackling leaf litter we were very pleased to find a single flowering Sharp Midge Orchid, Corunastylis despectans.
Sharp Midge Orchid
Midge Orchids start out as a fine single leaf and the flowers appear through the top of the leaf. The flowers of the Sharp Midge Orchid have sharply pointed sepals and petals pointing downwards, the name derived from the latin despectus — looking down upon. The other two Midge orchids that grow in our district, Bearded Midge Orchid, C morrisii, and Fringed Midge Orchid, C ciliata, should be appearing soon in suitable woodland and grassland habitat respectively.
It is interesting to see that some of the Rosy Hyacinth orchids, Dipodium roseum, that produced the bright pink flowers during the summer months now have fertilized seed capsules, if they managed to attract pollinators. The flowers are pollinated by native bees and reproduce solely from seed. There is no reward for the pollinators — no nectar and no pollen.
Following our February Newsletter going to print we did manage to find four more of the Spotted/White Hyacinth Orchid, Dipodium pardalinum, growing on the sandy track near Fraser Ave in Anglesea where it was first documented in January 1990. Thanks to Meredith Sussex for alerting us to the observation.
Other orchids that should appear with autumn rain include Parsons Bands, Eriochilus cucullatus, Tiny Greenhoods, Pterostylis parviflora, Brown Tipped Greenhoods, Pterostylis clivosa, and Autumn Greenhoods, Pterostylis sp. aff. revoluta, which we believe is soon to be named as its own species.
Many of our autumn orchids are not easy to find so please let us know of any of your discoveries. They are all documented and photographed in Orchids of the Anglesea District available from Angair.
Margaret MacDonald and Alison Watson