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Not to be overshadowed by the two other species of Corybas that were featured in our July and August Newsletters, the Slaty Helmet Orchid Corybas incurvus has put on a sporadic show during the last few weeks.

This delightful little orchid has been missing from some of our regular sites – perhaps it was just too cold. However, it has put on some spectacular displays in places where it seems that the small amount of winter sunshine managed to encourage the tubers to send up colonies of leaves and flowers. A single, reddish-purple flower appears to rest on a rounded, ground-hugging, light green leaf with a prominent central vein: there is actually a very short stem. The dorsal sepal is hooded over the labellum, which has a central white patch, and finely toothed margins that are prominently incurved.

Slaty Helmet Orchid

Slaty Helmet Orchid

Gnat Orchids, Cyrtostylis, are flowering well at present. Rose, from GORCC, made an exciting discovery under the Moonahs at Point Roadknight – further colonies of the rarer Large Gnat Orchid Cyrtostylis robusta. The more common Gnat Orchid Cyrtostylis reniformis is flowering in many places. The colour and shape of the leaves, and the fine-pointed tip on the end of the C. robusta labellum are distinguishing features.

Greenhoods are flowering in profusion – Nodding Greenhoods Pterostylis nutans, Blunt Greenhoods P. curta, Dwarf Greenhood P. nana, Tall Greenhoods P. melagramma, Trim Greenhoods P. concinna and Maroonhoods P. pedunculata. The colonies of Nodding Greenhoods at the Moggs Creek Picnic Ground are well worth a visit.

Leopard Orchids Diuris pardina, yellow flowers with distinctive brown spots, are flowering well at the present time.

Two Spiral Sun Orchids Thelymitra matthewsii on Teds Track at Aireys Inlet were disappointing – one bud was eaten and the other seems to have self-pollinated before opening.

Many leaves of our spring and summer orchids are appearing.  Hopefully we will have good flowering seasons.

Thanks to those people who are sending reports of orchid observations, and remember that photos and descriptions of all our orchids can be found in Orchids of the Anglesea District available from Angair.

Margaret MacDonald