Waxlip Orchid

October Wildflowers – Part 1

Colourful flowers, including some  Native Orchids caught my uneducated eye in October, as I began to investigate the bushland a bit more closely.

Wax-lip Orchid (Orcidaceae Glossodia Major)

The beautiful colour and form of the Wax-lip Orchid made them highly visible against the greens, yellows and whites of almost everything surrounding them.

Wax-lip Orchid
With slender stems, these flowers almost appear to be floating at times.
Wax-lip Orchid
The white based labellum is the identifying mark of this orchid. It is one I can actually identify myself!
Wax-lip Orchid
All of our Wax-lip orchids were approximately the same colour, but the field guide states they can range from a pinkish mauve to purple.
Wax-lip Orchid
While we did not have many Wax-lip orchids, the flash of colour drew my eye in the few locations where they did grow.


Many different species of plants have similar ‘pea’ shaped flowers in shades of gold and red or brown, so there were a few to sort through to identify this flower.  I am certain that ours is a Dillwynia of some description.  Narrowing down through the location they grow, whether or not the stems are hairy or smooth (ours is smooth) and the shape of the leaves, I think ours is either a Dillwynia Glaberrima (Smooth Parrot Pea)  or a Dillwynia Juniperina (Prickly Parrot Pea).  Now I wish I had taken notes on whether this bush was prickly or not.  In any case, it is a Parrot Pea of some description.

I have two field guides to Australian wildflowers, and neither book has a description of both for a more refined comparison.

The Dillwynias were growing in mainly hard to reach spots among other scrub, or on the banks of the dam.

Either a Smooth Parrot Pea or a Prickly Parrot Pea.
These flowers are really striking, The shrub grows to about 1 metre in height.

Heath Teatree or Silky Teatree (Leptospermum myrsinoides)

This teatree is quite common on our land.  I expect to see the flowers again next October, as the kangaroos don’t appear to be eating it. The shrubs are small and scrubby, and grow in both the bracken covered bush, as well as on the land that is a little more cleared.

Heath Teatree
The clear white petals and lime green centre make these tiny flowers very appealing. Notice the tiny red tips on the stamens. A very attractive teatree.
Heath Teatree
This tree was covered in buds just about to burst.

There are another ten or so photos to come in October Wildflowers: Part 2, which I hope to post tomorrow.

9 thoughts on “October Wildflowers – Part 1

    1. The orchid in this post is the Wax-lip orchid, and according to the field guide I have, the orchid produces a ‘papery capsule’ fruit. Apparently this splits open when the furit matures. The seeds inside are microscopic in size and just disperse where the wind takes them. I’m not sure how easy they would be to grow.

      I’m interested in the native plants you grow – do you have Australian Natives?

      1. I don’t think so, I think here in Ontario which is zone 6, everything here must be winter hardy otherwise will die. I do not have green house, couple of small plants I can manage to place them by indoor by windows.

        There is a native orchid called stream orchid, small flowers, I have it on my blog as well, this type of orchid is winter hardy and it is perennial do grow tiny dust like seeds, they like to grow under big tree, shady places. Kind of cute but wild. I do have some seeds of stream orchid.

      2. I’ve just looked at the Stream Orchid on your blog -it’s a very large orchid compared to our native orchids. Some of ours are only 6cm high, others grow to about 15, but the flowers themselves are only small, and mostly a single flower on a stem. At the moment, I don’t know enough about orchids to try to grow them, and as there are only a few on our land, I want to allow them to generate orchids in future years. It’s wonderful if you can grow the stream orchid from the seeds you have gathered. Your garden is full of beautiful flowers. You obviously spend a lot of time caring for it. I enjoyed your photos too!

      3. Thanks! I do enjoy gardening very much, I am a landscaper so I know what to do and what is hard work…sometimes just so tired.. but l enjoy very much to design and install clients gardens!

  1. The Parrot Pea is Dillwynia glaberrima (Smooth Parrot Pea) as you thought. D. juniperina leaves in a spiky point and it is mainly an eastern Victrorian plant.

    1. I loved the Dilwynia last year, when it was plentiful, and I was pretty sure I had got that one right, but it is wonderful to have this confirmed. Thank you!

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