Native Orchid

A Tiny Native Orchid

We have been trying to identify some of the small birds which hide in the undergrowth and treetops.   Among the methods we use is to sit in the bush listening for their calls.  Yesterday, while doing this, Richard spotted our first Autumn Native Orchid.   So far I have not been able to identify it precisely, but I will keep trying.

This orchid is tiny.  There were two plants close together. One was approximately 3cm tall, and the other about 7cm tall.  The flower itself was probably not much bigger than 0.5cm.  As you can see, the flowers may be tiny, but they are perfectly formed.  Due to their size, they were extremely hard to photograph clearly.  Thank you to Richard for laying down on his stomach amid the ants to take these photos.

Native Orchid
It is easy to miss this tiny orchid when walking around looking for birds.
Native Orchid
I don’t have a macro lens, so this was as close-up as we could get with my camera. However, it is close enough to see the form of the flower.


5 thoughts on “A Tiny Native Orchid

  1. Congratulations on finding such tiny orchids! I’ve been looking for them in the Adelaide Hills, but so far have not been successful this year. It is an Eriochilus cucullatus, Parson’s band. You do have a sub-species in Victoria which can be distinguished by the leaf, which emerges after it has finished flowering.

    1. Thanks Helen – especially for telling me the name of the orchid. I’ve tried to find it in a couple of field guides to native Australian flowers, but could not match it up with anything. With the information you’ve provided, I’ll have a second look to see if it is included in my field guides. Sor far, we’ve only spotted these two, but we may have more. I see lots of patches of orchid leaves, which sooner or later will bloom, and I can’t wait to see what they are! Lisa

      1. My main resource for identifying orchids is “Start with the Leaves”, by Robert Lawrence, my dad. Although it is for South Australian orchids, about 40 out of the 50 species can be found in Victoria. I also use “South Australia native orchids”by R.J. Bates.

        You might find “Wild Orchids of Victoria Australia” by Jeffrey Jeanes & Gary Backhouse quite helpful. Also I gather the Victorian Orchid society is very active and helpful and would know more about your orchids than I do.

        Hope this helps,

  2. Only just caught up with this one… sorry I have been so swamped with work and haven’t dropped in lately… with my macro lens! Autumn is such a busy time I don’t get out much and I don’t have this one in my photo collection as yet! Well done!

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