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Local Species: Small Mosquito Orchids (Acianthus pusillus )

If you look closely at the floor of the bushland, you may find some Small Mosquito Orchids emerging now. The 5 cent coin shows how small they are.
If you look closely at the floor of the bushland, you may find some Small Mosquito Orchids emerging now. The 5 cent coin shows how small they are.
This orchid is developing buds. The photograph shows the purplish stem and heart-shaped leaf which is purple below and rich green on top.
This orchid is developing buds. The photograph shows the purplish stem and heart-shaped leaf which is purple below and rich green on top.

If you enjoy walking in Dereel’s natural bushland, keep an eye out for Small Mosquito Orchids Acianthus pusillus which emerge in April. They will continue to appear throughout Autumn and flower into mid-Winter.

Small Mosquito Orchids are tiny. The photo at left shows the leaf being slightly smaller than a five cent coin, so you will have to scan the ground closely to find them.While they grow in varied locations, they do seem to be more prevalent on slight slopes or dips in the ground.  Places which may attract more moisture

Look for a heart-shaped leaf which is green on top, and purple beneath.  If you can see a tiny purple stem growing upwards, this is the base for a cluster of tiny orchid flowers.  Fully grown, the stem will reach somewhere between 5 cm and 20 cm high. The stem can have up to twenty flowers on it.

When the flowers bloom they are truly beautiful.  So graceful they remind me of ballerinas.  However, you do need a macro lens and the ability to see through the viewfinder very close to the ground to capture them in an image.  Here is one of my attempts from May 2014.

When the Small Mosquito Orchid flowers open fully, they are graceful. It's necessary to have a Macro lens to capture the details. I took this photograph in May 2014
When the Small Mosquito Orchid flowers open fully, they are graceful. It’s necessary to have a Macro lens to capture the details. I took this photograph in May 2014

 

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