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.

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