We are lucky enough to have clumps of Tiger Orchids. These beautiful, often large, flowers really attract attention with their bright yellows, browns and blacks.
A ‘cousin’ of the Donkey Orchid, the Tiger Orchid shares the two large upright lobes. We have Tiger Orchids in all of our main micro-climate zones. They are growing in the grassy areas, in the dry forest areas, and in the intermediate zones, including near the dam. Some are quite tall. Those in the photograph above are around 90 cm in height. In other areas, the plants are smaller. I have found many approximately 30 cm high and some plants as small as 15 cm high. It is possible that these are sub-species. I’m not sure. I plan on buying a more comprehensive guide to Australian Terrestrial Orchids to help me identify them more precisely.
According to the VivVeg website, an alternative name for the Tiger Orchid is the Hornet Orchid. I can really see why!
The distinctive features of the Tiger Orchid are the two dark dots on the upper Lobes, and the brown blotches or stripes on the labellum, as well as the long, hanging lower lobes.