As the Helmet Orchid buds swell, it is difficult to tell if they are flowering simply by looking at them.  The only way I can work this out  is to photograph them and look at the photos on the computer.  In the process,  I have captured the way the flowers open, which I’ve found utterly fascinating.  I hope you do too.   Please read the captions under each photo for more information.

Note that each of these photos is a different flower – I didn’t do a time-lapse sequence.

When it first appears, the bud looks green, and is held close to the leaf.
As the bud swells, it begins to lift and to darken in colour.
The hood begins to pull back, revealing tightly curled purple toothed edges
the ‘teeth’ can clearly be seen in this photograph.
The hood lifts a little more and the flower begins to open.
The green of the leaf is clearly visible through transparent sections of the flower.
This flower is almost fully open. Stay tuned for a fully open flower in a future post.