We have been watching a patch of orchid leaves for years. Each year they grow rich and green and full of promise, then curl up without flowering. We thought they looked like Bird Orchid leaves, as they showed up in that ‘bow-tie’ formation in a reasonable sized colony.
This year, I am delighted to say, they flowered. Yay! Such a long wait! It turns out they are Autumn Wasp Orchids, which are in the same Genus as Bird Orchids but considered to be distinct from them.
According to Gary Backhouse ‘Bush Gems’ it is typical for large colonies of leaves to develop, with only a few plants flowering, so I guess we could have missed the odd bloom in previous years. This is exacerbated by the long potential flowering window of opportunity – from February to September. Backhouse also mentions that the most prolific flowering occurs after bushfire.
We’ve now found four patches of these orchids, each flowering at a different rate.