Crested Sun Orchid (Thelymitra X irregularis)

Flowers in Spring (Sep - Nov), favours heathland and heathy forest, sometimes with its parents.

This sun orchid is a rare hybrid between T ixiodes and T carnea.  It usually has spotted flowers with yellow tufts of hairs on column arms.  The photo ruler indicates the height of this particular plant - a total of 17.5 inches (44.5cm).

Believed to be pollinated by bees but if not, then the flowers will self pollinate.  Almost all species have flowers that open only on sunny days - hence the name of 'sun' orchid.


Yellow Onion Orchid (Microtidium atratum)

Flowers in Spring/Summer (Sep - Dec), favours swampy flats and inundated creek margins.

Yellow-green onion orchid with elliptic labellum.  The photo ruler indicates the height of this particular plant - a total of 7 inches (18cm).  The flower is minute, 2mm across with the petals and sepals about 1mm long.

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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