Black-tongue Stegostyla (Stegostyla congesta formerly Caladenia congesta)

Flowers in Spring (Oct - Dec), favours open, heathy forest among grass tussocks and shrubs.

This hooded Stegostyla has bright pink flowers; the labellum mid-lobe is covered in large, crowded black calli thus giving it the name 'black-tongue'.  It is a distinctive and late flowering; the photo ruler indicates the height of this particular plant - a total of 13.5 inches (34.5cm). 

Pollination of the Stegostyla species has been studied very little but it is thought that smaller ones are pollinated by bees.


Common Onion Orchid (Microtis unifolia)

Flowers in Spring/Summer (Oct - Jan), favours grassland and grassy areas in open forest, heathy forest and woodland.

Widespread and common but variable and can colonise suitable sites.  The photo ruler indicates the height of this particular plant - a total of 16 inches (41cm).

Because every flower tends to set seed, it was thought to be self pollinating.  Work has shown that, in fact, pollination occurs mostly by worker ants.  This is highly unusual because an antifungal secretion of ants usually kill pollen.


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