Monday, 2 April 2012

Little Dumpies and friends

While taking the small dog for her morning walk today I was astonished to  find a colony of Diplodium truncatum in the middle of the track.  I exclaimed loudly and shrilly, causing Frances to think I had trodden on a legless reptile.  We have seen such reptiles in this area (1.5m Red-bellied Black) but not today.  All things balance, because I had never seen D truncatum on our property until today.  (This makes the 17th orchid species on the place: not bad for a pretty well cleared property and my 'eye' very ordinary.)

I returned later with my camera (and some equipment for whupping some of the plague of fleabane in the rest of the paddock).

This first image gives an idea of the habitat.  THE book describes the usual habitat as "slopes and ridges in open forest, shrubland and grassland in well drained soils."  I am not sure about the term soil - more like a thin layer of dirt over shale bedrock - but otherwise it fits.  The colony was at about 810m AMSL which also fits.
 The first impression was how short the stems were.  My pinkie is for scale and with post-hoc measurement the top of the dorsal sepal is about 4cm above the dirt.
 A snap from the side - I hadn't triggered anything!
 Here is one from in front showing the labellum in non-protrusive mode.
 On looking a little more closely I found this horde of rosettes in an even rockier setting - right at the rear of the first image.  Presumably they are creating new tubers which should give a nice show next time they flower!
While whupping fleabane I found that there was a very healthy layer of Vittadinia muelleri growing underneath it and still flowering nicely.
There is still quite a lot of blossom on the Xerochrysum viscosum which is obviously attractive to the local ants.
 Of course if the ants get too venturesome they may find themselves having a chat with this attractive entity which had strung a strand of silk between the fleabane in the shot and a Joycea seedhead about 1.5m away..


Denis Wilson said...

I also saw Little Dumpies on a private property off the Wombeyan Caves Road, near Bullio (15 Km west from Mittagong).
The wet year seems to have triggered lots of rosettes here too.
Good plants, and you obviously got "down and dirty" to get those close up images.

Flabmeister said...

Indeed down for these shots. For the front-on shot I just about had to dig a hole for the camera. There is such good ground cover after the damp year that I didn't get too dirty.