Sharp Midge Orchid (Corunastylis despectans - formerly Genoplesium despectans)

Flowers in Autumn (Jan - Jun), favours heathy eucalypt forests, often in sandy soils.

This tiny orchid has flowers that are 2-4mm across with downward directed lateral sepals.  The photo ruler indicates the height of this particular plant - a total of 5.5 inches (14cm).

These are poorly studied when it comes to pollination but some of the genus are known to attract small flies.


Slender Onion Orchid (Microtis parviflora)

Flowers in Summer (Oct - Feb), favours grassy forests and open forests often in moist soil.

An understudied species, there are 10 recorded in Australia.

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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