Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Cannibal Cobra



No I haven’t been to India or some other exotic location and seen a snake eating a snake! The Cannibal = Mt Cannibal Flora and Fauna Reserve and the Cobra = Cobra Greenhood, Pterostylis grandiflora.




I hadn’t seen one of these at this location until today. I knew from David Piko’s site, Mt Cannibal Orchids, that the plant does occur here, but it had evaded me on all my previous ‘expeditions’. After searching the west face for two hours today, I found just one healthy single flower and one nearby on the way out and no others. Mind you the area I covered would represent a tiny percentage of the total reserve.

In this image, the labellum is clearly visible, (set and waiting for a visit from a fungus gnat?).

After accidentally bumping the plant, the labellum retracted back to the column.

It is said that although Pterostylis grandiflora is a widespread species through eastern Victoria it is
not often seen in the wild and in some places the known populations are in decline, (Wild Orchids of Victoria Australia – Jeanes & Backhouse).

Gouldiae

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