Golden-moth-orchid-flower-close-up
The flower is almost fully open. Note that the curl in the petals is due to the photograph being taken on a windy day.

It is always a pleasure to add a new orchid to my A-Z Native Species List.  I found this Golden Moth Orchid growing in grass in a transitional zone between the native bushland and the cultivated area around the dam.  As far as I could see, there was only one plant and it only lasted two days.  I’m not sure if it was eaten by an animal or whether the flowers are just short-lived.

The flower was on a stem approximately 30cm high so I believe it is the commonly found Golden Moth Orchid, not the rare Small Golden Moth Orchid. The photograph below shows the ground around the plant, midway between two eucalypts.  I have found other species of Diuris Orchids  on the property (Tiger Orchid and Donkey Orchid) but not in this location.  I was actually looking for the last of the Greenhood orchids which form a large colony close to where the Golden Moth was growing.

Golden-Moth-Orchid--growing-in-grass-and-leaf-litter
So far I have only found this one solitary Golden Moth Orchid. In the three years we have been here, it is the first one I’ve seen.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get very good photographs of this orchid – the first day due to low light (it was late in the day) and the second day due to high wind.  However, the photographs do capture enough detail to see the form of the flower and the characteristic markings on the callus.  Next Spring I will be keenly searching for more Golden Moths as they are a very pretty flower.

 

golden-moth-orchid-showing-detail-of-callus
This macro photograph shows the detail of the callus.