In mid-December, when I bent down to look at a Pale Vanilla-Lily flower, I noticed these Slender Onion Orchid spikes nearby.  Thankfully my friend had alerted me to look for them, or I may have just passed them over. The flowers are so tiny that they don’t immediately catch the eye.

Among the information I have read about the Slender Onion Orchid is that it is an early coloniser,  especially in locations like dam walls, and that is exactly where it was growing on our property.  A number of Onion Orchids and Leek Orchids (which look similar) exist, and characteristic shapes of the columns and sepals are the way experts can identify one species from the other.  I must say that I marvel at their ability to even see these details, let alone distinguish slight differences.  I have so much more to learn when it comes to Orchids.

The shots below were taken for identification purposes.  I intended to go back and take some better photos, but for some reason, I never did.    (Sigh) next year!

Slender Onion Orchid 1

We had several Slender Onion Orchids growing in small clumps. The flower spikes were between 10 and 20 cm high

Slender Onion Orchid 2

Depending on the light, the flowers looked green, greenish white, or a greenish lemon colour. I did not manage to distinguish if there were more than one species growing together.