Friday, October 23, 2015

Raspy Root Orchid

Rhinerrhiza divitiflora

I was surprised to find this orchid in flower, early this week when we were still complaining that there had been no rain for ages. Its reputation is for flowering after rain, but it was undeterred by the very dry weather.
It is also said to prefer a damp, shady site, but this plant looks very healthy in its dry site on the eastern slope of the Range near Toowoomba. It was growing in dry rainforest with a rather light canopy. Its need for shade was apparently satisfied by its situation on the southern side of its host tree.
It is difficult to catch this species in flower, in the wild. All of a single plant’s flowers open within a short time, often on the same day, and last only a day or two, so its flowering season is very short indeed.  Note the buds on this plant, which I photographed late in the morning. I wonder whether they would have been open, if I had gone back a few hours later.

There is also a tendency for all the raspy root orchids in an area to flower simultaneously, so if you are lucky enough to find one, it’s worth looking around for others.

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