Beautiful flowering colonies of Nodding Greenhoods, Pterostylis nutans, are appearing in all sorts of places.
Tall Greenhoods, P. melagramma, are almost out and looking quite elegant, while sharp eyes will focus on the small flowers of the Dwarf Greenhood, P.nana, often hiding amongst the grasses.
The first two Leopard Orchids, Diuris pardina, opened early in August, and many more are now flowering within the national park on O’Donohue Rd. The grass-like leaves are all around but difficult to distinguish until the flowers open. The flowers have leopard-like spots on the labellum mid-lobe, side lobes, and often on the dorsal sepal and the back of the stalked yellow petals.
Also appearing now is the Gnat Orchid. We have two species in the area, Small Gnat, Cyrtostylis reniformis, and Large Gnat, Cyrtostylis robusta. The Large Gnat Orchid is rare in our district, growing on the coast at Point Roadknight.
Large Gnat Orchid
It is a stronger specimen than the Small Gnat and can have more flowers on the stem. In some places the two species often grow together with the Large Gnat Orchid flowering slightly earlier. The leaves of the Large Gnat are bright green with prominent veins, while the smaller orchid has grey-green veined leaves. The oblong labellum on the Large Gnat is also wider than that of the smaller one and has a pointed tip—the apex of the labellum on the Small Gnat labellum is ragged or toothed. Both species frequently form large colonies often with few flowers.
Small Gnat Orchid
The Mayfly Orchids, Aciathus caudatus, are looking impressive with striking deep purple buds and flowers. They have two to five flowers with long filament-like sepals. The heart- shaped leaf is dark green above and purple below, and is held well above the ground. On warm days the flowers emit a strong smell which attracts the pollinating fungus gnats. The flowers can also self-pollinate.
The Slaty Helmet Orchid, Corybas incurvus, mentioned in our last newsletter, did come into flower during July and early August, but the flowers were very scarce.
Slaty Helmet Orchid
There are buds of Red Beaks, leaves of various Spiders, Leeks, Onions, Sun Orchids, Hare and Waxlips. Please let us know of any of your orchid finds.
They are all documented and photographed in Orchids of the Anglesea District available from ANGAIR.
Alison Watson and Margaret MacDonald
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.