Thursday, July 12, 2012

Calochilus robertsonii

Calochilus robertsonii - Purplish Beard Orchid
Family: Orchidaceae

Common name: Purplish Beard Orchid

Flowers: 2 to10 flowers, about 35mm long, and green with red or purple stripes. The upper part of the labellum (or tongue) is thickly covered with purple-red glands while the lower section has long thick purple-red hairs ending in a bare slender tip. Flowers Oct and Nov.

Leaves and stem: One linear basal dark green channelled leaf up to 30cm long and 1cm wide. Stem is slender, grey-green and up to 40cm high.

Habit: Calochilus robertsonii is a deciduous terrestrial orchid. It grows singly or in loose groups. This orchid is said to emit pheromones from the labellum, sexually attracting large male Scollid Wasps that collect or transfer pollen whilst attempting to mate with the flower. This is sexual deception at it's best as the flower has no nectar as a reward.

Habitat: In the Pilliga Forests Calochilus robertsonii occurs in open woodland. It also grows on the north western, central western and south western slopes and plains, as well as coastal heaths. It occurs in all Australian States and territories.
Calochilus robertsonii - Purplish Beard Orchid

Upper side of leaf of Calochilus robertsonii

Under side of leaf of Calochilus robertsonii

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