Native Flowers

Fully Open Helmet Orchids at last!

For those who are on the journey with me, here are some photographs of fully opened Helmet Orchids.  I’m not completely sure, but I think I may have photographed two different species of Helmet Orchid.  We certainly have the Slaty Helmet Orchid (Corybas incurvus) and looking at distinctions of colour, shape and curve,  I think we may have a Veined Helmet Orchid (Corybas diemenicus) as well.  The latter is still in the process of opening, so I am extremely curious to see if the clear coloured teeth curve outward instead of inward when fully open.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer – here are the photographs:

slaty-helmet-orchid-corybas-incurvus- fully-open

I am confident this flower is the Slaty Helmet Orchid. Note that the toothed edge curves inward and the prominent white dome inside.

slaty-helmet-orchid-open-flower-shown-from-above-with-leaf-shape

I’ve noticed that some of the Slaty Helmet Orchids have round leaves and some have small notches in the leaves, like this one.

open-helmet-orchid-llower-showing-red -edges-and-white-interio

On the right side of the flower, the toothed edge seems to be turning outward, so I’m not sure if this is a different species. It doesn’t show prominent veins either, so I’m not sure what this one is. VicVeg website names some Helmet Orchids found in this region that are not descibed and don’t some with accompanying photographs, so it could be one of these.

veined-edge-of-opening-helmet-orchid

While this Helment Orchid flower isn’t fully open, the edges are clearly veined, and have transparent teeth rather than purple teeth. It also has a smaller round leaf. The jur is still out, but I think it may be a Vened Helmet Orchid (Corybas diemenicus).

 

 

10 replies »

  1. I’ve never seen these. How cool. I would like to see one in person some day. Can I use one of your photographs for a drawing? I’ll give you full credit and link your blog when I post it. If not that’s find I completely understand.

    • Thanks Fabio. I was out there again today trying to work out if we have more than one species of Helmet Orchid. I feel sure that we have at least two, perhaps three, but I still can’t be sure. The flowers are so small I have to photograph them to work out which way they are facing, and then move to the correct position to capture the front. I have a feeling there will be at least one more post on Helmet Orchids if my luck holds out. :-) Lisa

  2. Hi Lisa, I’m very pleased to have found you on the web. I’m a keen orchid enthusiast too, with 40 acres of beautiful Dry Heathy Woodland in Scarsdale (just 15 minutes away from Dereel). I’ve been a member of the terrific Australasian Native Orchid Society (Victorian Group) for quite a few years, and the Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat for just over a year, which has lots of very knowledgeable members on the topic of local orchids, both of which I’d recommend to you. It can be so much easier to learn orchids and other plants in person than out of books! One of the 40+ orchids we have found on our block so far is the Veined Helmet Orchid, Corybas diemenicus (previously known as Corysanthes diemenicus), which is certainly the reddish fringed helmet orchid in a couple of your photos above. It is found in at least one reserve in Dereel and in Enfield State Park, Berringa. You’re very lucky to live in Dereel where you have so many orchid-rich reserves so close to home, and 15 acres of your own to cherish. Keep exploring!

    • Hi Emily – thanks for getting in touch. Yes, I must investigate the Australasian Native Orchid Society – it sounds like just the thing I need to help me work out some of the sub-species. I’ve been to the Field Nat’s meeting once and hope to become more involved with them. This year has been so busy I haven’t managed it yet. Your 40 acres sound great. On our species list, so far I have put 23 species of orchid on it, but I am sure I can take it to around 30 if I can identify the sub-species I’m yet to post. I’m glad you found me on the web as well. :-) Lisa

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