Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sun on the Flat, birds on the Mount: Orchids, that is.

Frances and I were delighted to be invited to join a bunch local orchid aficionados for a day searching the Captains Flat Cemetery and Mount Bollard for orchids.  A few other bits of natural history will also creep into this post.

Although we visited Mt Bollard second I don't have a habitat shot for the bone yard, so will start with the habitat on Mt Bollard (which is also somewhat different to the habitat on the undulating bit leading to this grunt inducing climb - other images from previous visits are here.)
In what follows my identifications have been guided by advice from Jean, Eyal and particularly Tony, as they are all far more expert than me!  Obviously however I take responsibility for any errors in what follows.

I have presented the images in a rough thematic order and thus begin with an "unknown Sun Orchid" more properly Thelymitra sp.  It was barely awake in the Cemetery, but as it broke our duck (we didn't see any Flying Ducks today) gets celebrated here.
Then we found what was thought to be an unspotted Thelymitra ixioides.  On looking at the image I can see two spots!
 On the more level part of the track to Mt Bollard we found a nice spotted form of T. ixioides.
  This is T. arenaria from Mt Bollard.
I am reasonably confident this is T. pauciflora.
This was initially suggested to be T. megacalyptra but, particularly from the way the petals overlap, ends up being T. nuda.
Now we get to the confusing bits of Stegostyla.  Most decisions were made on the basis of the shape of the labellum, but the starting point was the scent associated with S. moschata (have you got the smellovision app yet?  This image is from the Mountain (none of my 'Steg' images from the Cemetery seem to have been S moschata).
Note the flared lobes on this labellum and the prominent 'teeth'.  S ustulata from the cemetery ....
 ... and the mountain.
 We (OK, Jean) finally found an example of Petalochilus and as one of the plants had two flowers (one extant, the other 'gone over') a call of P carneus was agreed.
The only donkey of the day was Diuris sulphurea of which a better image was obtained from the summit of Mount Bollard.
On the (more or less vertical) bits of Mount Bollard some - to use the vernacular name - 'bird orchids' were found.  We came across a number of colonies of these for which the best Latin appears to be Simpliglottis aff. valida Chiloglottis aff jeansii (see comment below for details).

There were also a number of bird orchids of this form, which were a lot larger and darker and with different shaped petals.  This is thought to be the simple Simpligottis valida.
These two plants were growing together giving the appearance of one plant with four leaves and two flowers.  Nope 2 x 2 x 1.
 At the start of the track Bossiaea foliosa was common, flowering and colourful.
 Different colour and different Latin but otherwise ibid - Comespermum ericinum.
There was also a lot of Tetratheca sp. evident and Frances considers the contrast of that species with those pictured was a highlight.  However as I have said before Ifind it very difficult to get a good image of Tetratheca so it doesn't appear here!

Small native violets - Viola hederacea - were everywhere in large numbers
There were a whole lotta insects around.  In some parts of the cemetery there were clouds of hoverflies, similar to this one photographed on Brachyscome scapigera.
 This is a Robber Fly, but I can't get closer than that.
A very successful day.  In addition to good company and lotsa plants 1.5 ascents of the Mount must have done my fitness some good!


Denis Wilson said...

A great outing, obviously.
Well done.

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Denis. I have been trying to post a fancy link to your good post about the Kangaloons but Blogger is being uncooperative so here is the basic link which I urge folk to follow

Flabmeister said...

This comment received indirectly by email so no names no pack drill.

"I am pretty sure your Chiloglottis is what we have been calling C. aff. jeanesii in our various publications.
"..... molecular phylogenetic analysis and chemical analysis puts in with C. chlorantha and C. jeanesii (of Vic)."


Denis Wilson said...

I had a visit from a Victorian who has been looking for equivalent species to C. aff. jeanesii. I was able to show them just one flower of C. chlorantha (they left their run a bit late).
Aaaah, taxonomists are the scourge of Orchid enthusiasts.

J Gray said...

Stunning flowers!

Flabmeister said...

Judi, Denis

Thanks for the comments.


As I have frequently said, they are the scourge of life on the planet, not just orchid enthusiasts.

It seems that aff jeansii (it seems Simpliglottis has reverted to Chiloglottis) only comes from Tallaganda, where it is widespread.