Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Biodiversity



G’day,
The Rosy Hyacinth-orchids are still flowering around here. They can put on a show right through to May apparently. Their size and colour always catches my eye in the dull grey/green of the box-bush. Some can grow to a metre tall.

 

 

There were a couple of individual plants growing in the one locality and each leafless stem was shooting from very close to the trunk of a young box. I subsequently discovered that the hyacinth-orchid is an epiparasite – an organism that parasitizes other parasites.


In this case apparently, there is a parasitic fungus on the roots of the tree that the orchid relies on for its own nutrition. And then of course there are probably some insect species that the orchid is host to as well. (You might just see a small invertebrate on one of the flowers in the second pic).

While I was groveling around on the ground getting some of these pictures, the resident Golden Whistler  quietly dropped in for a closer look too and of course he is possibly quite interested in the insects the orchid attracts!

 

Even boring old dry box-bush can exhibit some wonderful biodiversity.
Regards,
Gouldiae.


3 comments:

  1. Could be wrong of course but I think you've got two types of hyacinths there. Lovely that they're still flowering.

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  2. G'day Boobook,
    Yep, I sure could be - way out of my depth here. (All the photos are of the one plant.) My Jeans and Backhouse says, " ... pale pink flowers with darker pink spots, the labellum with prominent darker stripes ... Flowers from Nov to May. Widespread and common ...".

    The only other one it might be as far as I can see is the Spotted Hyacinth-orchid, " ... the labellum with redish spots ... Flowers December to March. ... central and western Victoria ...".

    Whichever they are, let's just call them Hyacinth-orchids and agree they're a beautiful part of our wonderfully diverse bushland.

    Regards,
    Gouldiae.

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  3. Hi Gouldiae
    If all photos are of the same plant then I agree it is Dipodium roseum. Small fine dots, and fine marks on the labellum.
    In the distance the pale pink is right.
    The other (D. punctatum) is generally a little darker, but they can be very hard to tell apart.
    If in doubt, settle for Hyacinth Orchids, as you suggested.
    Denis
    PS, the do seem "late", but I have seen them in July at Nowra.
    Remember Orchids do not read Orchid Text Books.
    Denis

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