Fifteen Acres Excursion

Mid-month excursion, September 2015
As we gathered at Fifteen Acres photographers were soon on hands and knees to capture the patches of Blunt Greenhood Pterostylis curta with its wide galea and twisted labellum. There were also clumps of Nodding Greenhood Pterostylis nutans. As we ventured further we found a few Small Spider-orchids Caladenia parva. A patch of sundews contained two species – Pale Sundew Drosera peltata with hairy sepals and a basal rosette and several smaller multi-stemmed plants which may be Drosera hookeri.
Around the dam, still below half full, were a variety of small plants including Tiny Drosera Drosera pygmaea and Kidney weed Dichondra repens. In the leaf litter below the dam wall were Trim Greenhood Pterostylis concinna which was identified by its black tipped, v-notched labellum. A Sacred Kingfisher flew over the dam but we did not see where it landed. A male Scarlet Robin perched on a tree guard giving everyone a good view.
Among the Austral Bracken Pteridium esculentum we found many species of orchid leaves and flowers of Mayfly Orchid Acianthus caudatus, Small Gnat-orchid Cyrtostylis reniformis and Maroonhood Pterostylis pedunculata. Climbing Sundew Drosera macrantha scrambled through the bracken. After a few warms days several shrubs were flowering Hedge Wattle Acacia paradoxa, Golden Bush-pea Pultenaea gunnii, Common Heath Epacris impressa.
We thanked Lisa and Richard for showing us their treasured bushland, their hospitality and prepared notes for the excursion. Lunch stop was in the bush at Bliss Road where we lunched on the July excursion. After lunch in a sunny clearing Emily lead us along a track through sandy soil supporting a thick growth of bracken. The highlight was along a kangaroo track where there were seven types of orchids: Mayfly Orchid Acianthus caudatus, Small Gnat-orchid Cyrtostylis reniformis,Tall Greenhood Pterostylis melagramma, Dwarf Greenhood Pterostylis nana, Maroonhood Pterostylis pedunculata, Blunt Greenhood Pterostylis curta and at least 2 plants which were obviously a cross between Blunt Greenhood and Maroonhood which had the colouring of Maroonhood but was taller and widespread lateral sepals of the Blunt Greenhood. An orchid which we had not previously seen on the day was the hybrid Bronze Bird-orchid Chiloglottis X pescottiana.

Pterostylis curta x P. pedunculata a Bill MurphyPterostylis curta x P. pedunculata
Imsage:  Bill Murphy

Our final site for the day was at a burnt roadside patch of volcanic plains grassland west of berringa where Golden Moths Diuris chryseopsis gave a yellow mass of colour.

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