Western Australian Orchids
Most of the orchids on this web page are from the Stirling Range National Park
and were photographed during a Floral Secrets Orchid Tour
taken on a Saturday morning in October 2005. The Park is 400 south-east of Perth.
Within the 116,000ha of the Park, there are 1,500 plant species - including 123 species of orchids.
The tour was provided by the Stirling Range Retreat, and in our case was conducted by Ayleen Sands,
whose knowledge, passion and charm made it an experience to be remembered and treasured.
Notes taken on the Tour, as well as its handouts allowed the identification of the orchids and much of the detail provided below.
Reference has also been made to the superb Western Australian Herbarium FloraBase and the Orchids of South-West Australia website.
Unless indicated, the photos were taken in the Stirling Range National Park.
The orchid at the top is the stunning Purple Enamel Orchid (Elythranthera brunonis). It is widespread and the flower is 30mm in diameter.
The Butterfly Orchid (Caladenia lobata) above shows the remarkable, if not bizarre shapes of orchids. Its crimson lip quivers in the breeze. It is a Spider Orchid and its "wingspan" would be 70mm.
[A new classification is proposed for the Caladenia genus that would see the Spider Orchids have their own genera - Arachnorchis.]
An index to the orchid images included on this web-page
Select the thumbnail image to see the full image
Shy Sun Orchid
This sun orchid was found on Wave Rock.
Blue Lady Orchid
The Blue Lady Orchid was found in Perth.
It can be distinguished from the Scented Sun Orchid by the purple tufts on its column
Rattle Beak Orchid
This very distinctive orchid is so named as its flowers rattle when shaken.
This Donkey Orchid was found on Wave Rock.
Purple Pansy Orchid
Another member of the Donkey Orchid herd - its name is very fitting.
The distinctive striped labellum readily identifies this orchid.
White Fairy Orchid
This splendid "standard-looking" orchid was found north of Margaret River.
Rusty Spider Orchid
Another magic spider orchid - looking a bit like some discarded maroon ribbon.
The full image shows a seed pod.
Apparently, the labellum of the Dragon Orchid resembles a female Thynnid Wasp. In addition it excretes the scent of this wasp
The male Thynnid Wasp becomes stuck on the labellum and the only way clear is towards the column - thus becoming a pollinator.
There are over 12,000 species of wasp
Silky Blue Orchid
This beautiful orchid was found in woodland near Pemberton. It was growing out of the stump of a fallen tree.
Easily identified by its elongated petals looking like rabbit ears.
One of the more common orchids - often appearing in groups. This one was found near Pemberton.
Fringed Mantis Orchid
One of the more pronounced displays of the labellum and column with the remaining petals and sepals attracting attention.
Also known as the Green Spider Orchid.
Crab-lipped Spider Orchid
A spider orchid with so much character. Its labellum looks like a handlebar moustache.
Dwarf Spider Orchid
Although not a great photo, as it was past its best, it has been included as it is a threatened species - having been declared "rare".
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