Sunday, 18 October 2009

Birds of a different kind

Yesterday we wandered at field nats' pace through trees on the property east of Anglesea so I don't think we missed much. We saw quite a few species of orchid including a big patch of the Common Bird Orchid Chiloglottis valida. They're called 'bird' orchids' because the flowers look like young birds opening their beaks. 'Valida' means strong, and they certainly are a robust looking orchid, especially the leaves. We saw the paired leaves first - they can be up to 10 cm long - and then hunted for the flowers. There were a few fully open. This genus of orchid spreads vegetatively, producing clones of itself from tubers, so you often find it in large numbers in one area. (It also produces seed but very little of it germinates.) It's pollinated by sexually-deceived male wasps apparently. I'd like to see that.

2 comments:

Duncan said...

Beaut shots Boobook!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Boobook
I love these large-flowered Bird Orchids.
I've never seen your species, but I get a green one locally.
Always fun. You got some nice shots, as I know how hard they are to capture well.
Cheers
Denis

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