Garigal NP – Orchids

Yesterday my plans for another mountain trip were changed and instead I found my myself near Garigal NP and decided to have a quick walk around looking for two orchids I had seen about two weeks ago but couldnt find now. Well of the two I did find one of them but unfortunately it wasn’t in flower. I still dont know what it is though I am pretty sure its a sun orchid. Regardless of yesterdays downfalls it did throw up a few positives.


The above picture is of an orchid I have been wanting to find for a while, Diuris aurea, the Golden Donkey Orchid (30d, 180, f7.1, 1/200, iso 200, possibly external fill). Diuris orchids are uncommon on sandstone plateaus like Garigal NP, favouring the richer soils of the Cumberland Plains. The flowers trick native bees into pollination them by resembling pea flowers. Their underground tubers are edible and were favourites of the early colonists and Aboriginals. At one stage there was (and may well still be) worries that eating of their tubers was dramatically reducing their populations, though I imagine now the threats to this plant more aligned with habitat destruction.


The second photo is of what I think is the Copper Bearded Orchid, Calochilus campestris (30d, 180mm, f10, 1/125, fill flash). Calochilus orchids have also been named Satry orchids after the sylvan monster ( image of a satyr) after their beards and horns, personally I think the name bearded orchids is simpler and more explanatory.  These orchids pollinate by psuedo-copulation with Scollid wasps ( image of wasp).

I had a great day out at Garigal I walked the Bluff trail which is one of Sydney’s secrets. I also spotted a skink I havent been able to get shots of… unfortunately that record still stands. I may post some pictures of other wild flowers I shot, we’ll see.


~ by adamrose on October 3, 2009.

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