Australian Terrestrial Orchids

Paul T.
Sun, 06 May 2012 17:49:12 PDT
At 11:17 PM 6/05/2012, you wrote:

>Dear Andrew, There are bulbous orchids like 
>Calanthe for example and non-bulbous like many 
>Dendrobiums so I guess they are like any other 
>group of plants which have bulbous and 
>non-bulbous forms so I wouldn't imagine this 
>group discussing all orchids only the bulbous 
>ones. I will be very interested to see what 
>others think.I have yet to visit the Western 
>Australian orchid areas but will one day. There 
>is an excellent article on them and their 
>locations in a recent Australian Native Plant 
>Society magazine.Shelley Gage, SE Queensland, Australia

Shelley et al,

There are a lot more Aussie terrestrial orchids 
than just those over in Western Australia.  They 
grow throughout NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South 
Australia and I am sure you have some relatively 
local ones in Queensland too.  Pterostylis (or 
what used to be that genus, now split into a few 
different ones) grow for me here locally, as do a 
number of species of Diuris (Donkey Orchids), 
Corybas (or their associated types that are now 
in different genuses), Beardies, Flying Ducks, 
Caladenias, Chiloglottis etc.  All these that I 
mention are tuberous (and all are fully 
deciduous, dying back to some form of tuber 
completely buried in the ground) , although some 
are extremely hard to grow in cultivation.  I 
grow probably 20 different Pterostylis, a dozen 
or more Diuris, Thelymitras, Chiloglottis, 
Corybas (badly! <grin>), as well as any other 
non-Aussie terrestrials that I can ever track 
down.  There are even some Aussie natives like 
Microtis unifolia that really are just a weed 
here, popping up in pots all over the place.  Now 
if they were a bit more spectacular that would be 
great, but they most definitely aren't!! LOL

I'm just mentioning this to show that there are a 
lot more Aussie terrestrials than just those in 
the west.  While some of ours over in the East 
might not be as breathtaking as some of the 
western stuff, they are mostly easier to grow, 
and I still get a lot of pleasure out of 
them.  When the Diuris for example are in flower 
you really cannot miss them.  I remember as a 
child growing up there was a patch of Diuris on 
our property (if only we still owned that 
property, knowing what I know now about 
cultivating them) that was about 2m x 1m and must 
have had 200+ flower stems.  So beautiful.  Now 
if only I could grow the Beardies and the Flying Ducks?


Paul T.
Canberra, Australia - USDA Zone Equivalent approx. 8/9
Min winter temp -8 or -9°C. Max summer temp 40°C. 
Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Growing an eclectic collection of plants from all 
over the world including Aroids, Crocus, 
Cyclamen, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Galanthus, 
Terrestrial Orchids, Irises, Liliums, Trilliums 
(to name but a few) and just about anything else that doesn't move!! 

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