Orchids in the Trees

Dendrobium teretifolium

Dendrobium teretifolium

Dendrobium teretifolium, the Thin Pencil OrchidRat’s Tail Orchid or Bridal Veil Orchid grows almost exclusively on Casuarina glauca, our dominant local casuarina. With prolific flowers in July and August the orchid is rather spectacular, and fragrant!

Bridal Veil orchids

Bridal Veil orchids

We gathered our courage, only necessary because of ticks, and walked deep into the bush along Mullimburra ICOLL, to the particular kind of water-meadow landscape where the orchids grow. There were many hundreds of plants, most flowering, but masses of young ones too.

Casuarina glauca forest, with orchids

Casuarina glauca forest, with orchids

In the photo above you can see the long seed pods hanging down below the flowering stalk. These pods give rise to the names Pencil Orchid, or Rats Tail Orchid. Can you also see the bright green plant covering the forest floor here? It looks like a cress, but I really don’t know what it is, and it only grows here along the edge of the creek.

Casuarina bark and Orchid flowers

Casuarina bark and Orchid flowers

Don’t you love the little curled petals? I tried to get a better close-up but the light was not with me, and a very tall tripod would have helped!

fallen casuarina, young orchid plants, lichen

fallen casuarina, young orchid plants, lichen

This giant old tree has fallen over, creating a perfect habitat for the lichen and young orchid plants. Perhaps these will be flowering next year? We had about six ticks each, unavoidable despite precautions … inevitable as soon as we leave wide well-used tracks. It was worth it! While I was there I had to photograph the staghorn ferns that grow so luxuriantly …. sometimes becoming so large that they pull the big casuarinas over. One clump we know well is as large as a small car!

Staghorn Ferns

Staghorn Ferns

 

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29 thoughts on “Orchids in the Trees

    • we have so many marsupials here, lots of walllabies, kangaroos, possums, who all host the ticks … i already have one tick-caused medical problem … so have to be careful about exposure … hoping not to contract a borrelia infection … so I mostly avoid bushland these days 🙂

    • we got them … it takes days … then there are the itchy bumps … but almost all gone now … but seeing the orchids was definitely worth the trouble 🙂

  1. I’m not sure these are orchids. But, orchids grow well from the tree because their roots can get moisture from the tree, flowers get protection from the tree.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these beauties! Orchids are one of my passions and this one I had never heard of before!. That fern is interesting too.

    In Sweden it is mostly deer that host the ticks…and deer we have MANY of. Surely ticks are one of the very few animals not really needed in this world..?( Who needs ticks to survive?)

  3. Have never seen orchids like these before! They are beautiful, as are the staghorn ferns. The ticks sound scary. Glad you got every single one out.

  4. Wow. I would love to see the staghorn fern so big! They don’t grow naturally here. I wish they did. These are the most interesting orchids. I love the photo of the little ones on the fallen tree. Sorry about the ticks! Ugh. I read that they can live up to eight years in the soil. I too don’t know why we have ticks! Chuckle… Thanks for leaving the link to the image of the ferns here. I enjoyed the visit.

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