Friday, July 11, 2008

The Mighty and the Minuscule

G'day All,
There's an old Red Ironbark on the golf course next door that often catches my eye - seldom my ball, as I'm more prone to slicing than hooking!

Apparently the Gippsland plains and nearby foothills once had some good ironbark cover. There are some small stands of sideroxylon in a couple of reserves nearby, but there's not much left on private property or public land.

The common name, 'ironbark', of course derives from the hard, deeply furrowed and persistent bark.

The tough durable timber was once popular for heavy engineering uses, marine applications, railway sleepers, poles, flooring and decking.

While meandering around this one the other morning, a stray golf ball amongst the grass caught my eye. When I bent down to retrieve it, there surrounding it was a little colony of Nodding Greenhoods.

Glen and I had been waiting to see when the first ones would appear. We've been seeing the leaves but felt the flowers were a week or two away yet. Not so!

Nice little bit
of luck, but the best luck of all, I don't think the mower man will be able to get the 'rough cutter' near them - hooray!



  1. Sideroxylon is also listed as a good honey producing tree. The honey is light in colour and mild flavoured.
    Great pics of the greenhoods. I wonder do they grow up here in SE QLD?

  2. G'day Mick,
    Yeah, forgot to mention the honey property. There is more than 100 species of Greenhoods, (Pterostylis), in Aust, and some are found in Qld.

  3. Thanks for the reminder, Gouldiae. I must start looking for Greenhoods. We've had 2 inches over the past few days, so the native orchids might be on the move up here, too.

  4. Some golf courses make great flora reserves.

    You'll like this:

    From the Parks and Wildlife Service:

    The Gaping leek orchid (Prasophyllum correctum) - here is a very interesting story relating to this orchid. It was discovered on Campbell Town golf course by one of our wildlife officers, not during a botanical survey, but whilst retrieving a ball that had gone off course! A sample was sent to David Jones, Australia's foremost orchid expert in Canberra. Not only had this species never been recorded in Tasmania before but it is also an extremely rare Australian species.

  5. Nice alliteration Gouldiae, pictures and words are pretty good too. ;-)

  6. G'day,
    Thanks DF, you've just had me diving for the dictionary (not for 'alliteration' though)!
    Oh Mosura, you have made my day. I guess you can imagine the battles I have here, trying to convince the mower people to stay away from some areas. I'm constantly being told it's a golf course, not a flora reserve. Now you have given me a little bit more ammunition.
    I reckon Duncan will have us walking the railway lines around Bairnsdale, (just up the road), soon too. THANKS!

  7. Hi Gouldiae.
    Nice post about the Nodding Greenhoods. Great shot of the reddish "labellum".
    If you wish to check details of local Orchids, check out Colin Rowan's "Retired Aussies" website for the best images and most comprehensive listing of Victorian Orchids of which I know.

  8. G'day Denis,
    Thanks for the compliment. Yep, I have 'Retired Aussies' bookmarked. I like to use the text, 'Wild Orchids of Victoria Australia', (Jeans & Backhouse) a bit too. I don't get too upset if I can't identify something, although it's good to know what I'm looking at or photographing, particularly if I'm going to post it. I thought I was doing well in the Greenhoods at one stage, then Duncan informs some of them readily hybridise - strewth!
    PS: I often enjoy a read of The Body Politic by the way.

  9. Hi Gouldiae.
    Colin will be pleased to know that you have his site bookmarked. It is very good. Yes, the little things do hybridise readily. And coloured Ground Orchids sometimes present as all-green flowers. That's a real shock, if you find one of them.
    Re the Body Politic, I have been too busy with plants and birds recently. And NSW politics is in such a state, one has to be careful not to get sued! Glad to meet a reader. There are not many of you!