Sunday, 16 September 2012

A cross orchid

Sometimes when you're bushwalking a sight just stops you in your tracks, takes your breath away. That was the feeling when I saw a colony of orchids near Inverleigh. They are tiny and blend in with the ground litter remarkably, even when growing en masse  as they do.  I wish I'd thought to video my fellow field nats tip-toeing around the bush trying to avoid stepping on them - you'd be about to put your foot down, spot the leaves and be forced to change direction whilst balancing on one foot.

We were looking at a natural hybrid called Chiloglottis X pescottiana (or Chilosimpliglottis X pescottiana) Bronze Bird-orchid. Apparently it's a cross between C. trapeziformis and C. valida. It was growing in grassy woodland. The callus gland is basal, large and stalked - Jones describes it as 'resembling an ant'.

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