Urochilus-sanguineus Maroon Banded Greenhood Orchid

Urochilus-sanguineus Maroon Banded Greenhood Orchid

So I know you guys aren’t here to look a pictures of flowers. But I love em, so you’re going to have to put up with the occasional post about them. This little dude is fairly common in Southern Australia. He is a Maroon Banded Greenhood. A native terrestrial orchid, who is a little shy and hard to find unless you know where to look. His real name is Urochilus-sanguineus  and I photographed this one just South of Adelaide the other night. Hi was growing in some scrubby dune country a couple hundred metres from a beach.

Maroon Banded Greenhood Orchid, Urochilus sanguineus .  Growing in natural environment in the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park, Aldinga, South Australia. A common terrestrial orchid found growing over a wide range. This specimen about 15cm tall. (Ian Mckenzie/excitations stock)

Like a lot of his mates, the Maroon Banded Greenhood doesn’t exactly stand out in the crowd. This one was around 12cm tall.

Close up of flower of Maroon Banded Greenhood Orchid, Urochilus sanguineus. Fine hairs on the labellum are clearly shown. (Ian Mckenzie/excitations-stock.com)

A closer look at the flower of Urochilus-sanguineus, showing the tiny hairy Labellum. With greenhoods the Labellum is sometimes referred to as a trigger. It seems some of this little guys have a trigger that is  “set” so that when a suitable pollinating insect comes along, the trigger goes off and temporarily traps the insect. Who has to struggle to get free. While struggling helps pollinate the flower. So tricky little dudes as well as hard to find. Oh by the way if you do find native terrestrial orchids growing in the wild. Please leave them there. Don’t be tempted to dig them up for your garden. You see many are reliant on special fungus growing in the soil. If the fungus isn’t present, the plant dies.

 

 

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