What is this amazing flower? It was about 500mm high, in dry forest near Creswick. S.O., Lucas.
This native summer-flowering orchid, the spotted hyacinth-orchid, Dipodium pardalinum flowers at its peak in January and February and is common through local forests, particularly around Creswick, Enfield, Scarsdale and Snake Valley.
Being leafless, hyacinth-orchids get their nourishment from dead organic material through their tuberous roots, a process aided by essential thread-like mycorrhizal fungi.
Surprisingly, in the Ballarat district where the plant is common, it has a restricted range and is listed as rare in Victoria.
Possibly the forests around Ballarat are its headquarters.
Stem colours range from yellow-green to dark red.
- Questions and photos welcome. Send to Roger Thomas at The Courier, PO Box 21, Ballarat, 3353, or email t firstname.lastname@example.org