Hidden In The Hills: Terrestrial Orchids

Red Beard Orchid

There are many ground hugging orchid plants that flower in early autumn, lasting through to late spring.

The flower of the Trim Greenhood Orchid (Pterostylis concinna) stands about 250mm above the grass. It is often found in quite large colonies in open woodland growing amongst shorter sedges and grasses, in dappled sunlight.


Hyacinth Orchid

The Red Beard Orchid (Calochilus paludosis) has a flower stem up to 400mm tall and carries numerous flowers which are characterised by hair-like extensions resembling a man’s long and untrimmed beard.

It grows in scattered areas along the coast of eastern New South Wales, west to the Blue Mountains. Surviving in dry, sandy as well as swampy conditions it is found in both heath and woodland environments, frequently growing under eucalypts.

The Copper Beard Orchid (Calochilus campestris,) growing on 600mm stems, tends towards bluish purple coloured hairs. The Purplish Beard Orchid (Calochilus robertsonii), growing on 450mm stems, tends towards bronze purple coloured hairs.

Yet another orchid sometimes found growing from the fissures in large sandstone rock formations is the distinctive mauve coloured Dipodium punctatum Hyacinth Orchid. This orchid gains its nutrients from decaying vegetable matter found either in leaf litter or in rocky locations