The change in weather and soaking rain heralds a good start for the autumn/winter orchids. We are very pleased to see the beautiful Fringed Hare Orchids, Leporella fimbriata, flowering again in good numbers in Messmate Rd/Coalmine Rd where the road has been realigned.
Fringed Hare Orchids
We also found them further along the side of the new road in a similar suitable habitat. We hope they are growing now on the slopes of the old Alcoa mine, where soil from the Messmate Rd Fringed Hare habitat was taken, though at this stage we haven’t had access to the site. The Fringed Hare Orchids have no basal leaf initially, making them harder to see until the veined, ovate leaf appears after the flower develops. There is also a good colony in the Elizabeth St Bushland Reserve but they are difficult to find amongst the vegetation.
Brown-tipped Greenhood, Pterostylis clivosa, and Tiny Greenhood, P. parviflora, with their inward facing flowers can be seen now in many areas. With a magnifying glass the Brown-tipped Greenhood can be seen to have a rough surface on the dorsal sepal while the Tiny Greenhood has a smooth dorsal sepal. We expect many more of both species to appear after the recent rain.
The leaves of Autumn Bird Orchids, Chiloglottis curviclavia, are appreciating the rain and starting to appear.
Just one Autumn Greenhood, Pterostylis ampliata (formerly P. sp. aff. revoluta) with its large flower has appeared at the site on Allardyce Track where last year there were about 15 flowers. Perhaps the last two months have been too dry for it. There were some good colonies on private land at Aireys Inlet.
There are still Bearded Midge Orchids, Corunastylis morrisii, to be seen in various areas.
Tall Rosy Hyacinth Orchids, Dipodium roseum, in the Alcoa Conservation Reserve in Fraser Ave have produced substantial fruit this year and hopefully lots of seed for the next season. Hyacinth Orchids require a particular native bee to fertilise the flower so the bees must have been active during summer when the orchids were flowering.
Rosy Hyacinth seed pods
Parsons Bands, Eriochilus cucullatus, can now be seen in many places—very tiny mostly, the white lateral sepals standing out once you get your eye in.
The Banded Greenhood, Pterostylis sanguinea, is in bud and leaves of other orchids appearing include Nodding Greenhood rosettes and Red Beaks, Pyrorchis nigricans.
These orchids are all documented and photographed in Orchids of the Anglesea District available from Angair. Please let us know of your orchid finds.
Alison Watson/Marg MacDonald