Tasmanian native orchids
Old 08-15-2019   #1
nickthetasmaniac
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Tasmanian native orchids

This will hopefully be a long-running thread documenting my (rather ambitious) project to find and photograph all of Tasmania's native orchid species*.

Tassie is home to about 200 individual species and a number of hybrids, although the total varies as new species are discovered and old species are consolidated. For the time being, lets say there's 217. About one third of these are endemic to the State.

They're found across most parts of the state, from coastal scrub to grasslands to cool-temperate rainforest to montane areas, and there are species in flower during every month of the year (with a distinct peak in Oct-Dec). Some are prolific (such as the Mayfly below) while some are very elusive, and only flower under very specific environmental conditions (such as the bushfire dependent Fire Orchid).

For anyone used to the big tropical hybrids you find in commercial florists, native orchids usually range from small to very small (the smallest having flowers only a few mm's across).

*Quite possible the internet won't exist by the time I finish

I'm also sharing this project on IG @_orchidism


Thelymitra simulata (Collared Sun Orchid) | Tasman National Park (Pen F + 60mm Macro)


Prasophyllum apoxychillum (Tapered Leek Orchid) | Tasman National Park (GRII)

Endemic to Tasmania and listed as 'endangered'.


Acianthus caudatus (Mayfly Orchid) | Tasman National Park (GRII)
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Old 08-15-2019   #2
chasfreeland
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Lovely pictures and an interesting topic. Hope to see more.
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Old 08-15-2019   #3
Freakscene
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Beautiful, and apt, seeing as I am sitting in a motel in Orford, Tasmania, writing some presentations for a meeting that I am attending.

Marty
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Old 08-15-2019   #4
CharlesDAMorgan
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What a wonderful project! I shall follow with enthusiasm.
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Old 08-15-2019   #5
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Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
Beautiful, and apt, seeing as I am sitting in a motel in Orford, Tasmania, writing some presentations for a meeting that I am attending.

Marty

Lovely corner of the state Are you here for long enough to explore? Or just work...
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Old 08-16-2019   #6
lynnb
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A worthwhile project - they are such beautiful, delicate flowers. Have you talked to the Royal Hobart Botanical Gardens about your project? Perhaps it might evolve into an exhibition and book if it goes well?

Good luck and happy hunting/shooting.
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Old 08-16-2019   #7
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Fantastic idea!! I subbed you on IG. I grow orchids as a hobby and Australian species are particularly challenging. Looking forward to more
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Old 08-16-2019   #8
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Very nice. In Vietnam, orchids are revered and people pay large amounts of money for them, especially around Tet, or Lunar New Year...




Out to Lunch, on Flickr. Saigon, January 2019. Epson R-D1x - Zeiss Biogon 2/35.
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Old 08-16-2019   #9
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Wow! What a project! Good for you--wish you the best success and the pix are beautiful!
Paul
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Old 08-16-2019   #10
giganova
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Sublime!

I would try separating the flowers more by choosing a darker background or throwing more light at the orchards with hand-held mirrors or hand-held reflecting cards.
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Old 08-16-2019   #11
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This project could be a good excuse to get into medium or large format photography. The Mamiya RZ67 has a huge built-in bellows that is great for close-up shots.
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Old 08-16-2019   #12
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Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
Lovely corner of the state Are you here for long enough to explore? Or just work...
Just work this time, sadly, but I do come pretty often.

And I have had time to eat some amazing oysters.

Marty
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Old 08-16-2019   #13
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Just work this time, sadly, but I do come pretty often.

And I have had time to eat some amazing oysters.

Marty
We should have a coffee some time when you're in Hobart, Marty, if you hang around the capital at all on the way to the coast. You too of course, Nick.
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Old 08-16-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
A worthwhile project - they are such beautiful, delicate flowers. Have you talked to the Royal Hobart Botanical Gardens about your project? Perhaps it might evolve into an exhibition and book if it goes well?
I haven't spoken with Botanical Gardens, but I am in regular contact with a bunch of local botanists and keen amateurs. I actually work for Parks, and we're about to publish a field guide to native orchids found on one of the tracks down here.

It would be great to have a print exhibition of all 217 species if I ever manage to find the lot!

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Fantastic idea!! I subbed you on IG. I grow orchids as a hobby and Australian species are particularly challenging. Looking forward to more
Thanks! I've never had a crack at cultivation. It sounds super tricky...

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Originally Posted by Out to Lunch View Post
Very nice. In Vietnam, orchids are revered and people pay large amounts of money for them, especially around Tet, or Lunar New Year...
Thanks I feel like a lot of Australian's aren't aware of the orchid diversity we have here! They certainly seem more celebrated in Asia.

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This project coud be a good excuse to get into medium or large format photography. The Mamiya RZ67 has a huge built-in below that is great for close-up shots.
Hah, not a chance I love shooting film, but a good number of these orchids are found out on track, and there's no way I'm sticking a RZ67 in my rucksack...
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Old 08-16-2019   #15
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These are two of the three Tasmanian members of the Pterostylis longifolia complex. Visually the only reliable way to tell the difference is the amount of dark colouring on the labellum, or 'tongue'.

The third member of this group is the endemic Pterostylis stenochila (Green-lip Greenhood), whose labellum is all-green with no colouring at all. I have found P. stenochila, but I'm yet to get a good image...

When an insect lands on the labellum it snaps shut, holding the insect inside long enough for pollination to occur before slowly releasing (same process as a trigger plant).


Pterostylis melagramma (Black-stripe Greenhood) | Tasman National Park (Pen F and m.ZD 60mm Macro)


Pterostylis willliamsonii (Brown-lip Greenhood) | Tasman National Park (Pen F and m.ZD 60mm Macro)

Endemic to Tasmania.
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Old 08-17-2019   #16
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We should have a coffee some time when you're in Hobart, Marty, if you hang around the capital at all on the way to the coast. You too of course, Nick.
Absolutely Brett, when I am not book-ended by work and home commitments. I was in Tasmania for less than 30 hours this time, sad to say.

Beautiful photos and flowers Nick. I’ve seen many, but never knew what they were. And I am a biologist by profession...

Marty
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Old 08-18-2019   #17
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Thelymitra cyanea (Veined Sun Orchid) | Tasman National Park (EM5 and Super-Macro-Takumar 50/f4)



Thelymitra rubra (Pink Sun Orchid) | Tasman National Park (Pen F and m.ZD 60mm Macro)
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Old 08-24-2019   #18
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This one was quite exciting as it was the first time that the species has been identified in southern Tasmania, a range extension of around 350km.

The species is highly responsive to disturbance and was found about 18 months after a control burn in the area.


Caladenia pusilla (Tiny Caladenia) | Tasman National Park (GRII)
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Old 09-04-2019   #19
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The first of the season's Spider Orchids.

C. caudata is endemic to Tasmania and listed as 'vulnerable'. It is a species that was probably common once, but its favoured habitat (native grassland and open woodland) has mostly been converted to pasture or housing. Now it's only found in a few sites around the State.





Caladenia caudata (Tailed Spider Orchid) | Waverley Flora Park (Pen F and m.ZD 60mm Macro)
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Old 09-04-2019   #20
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Lovely pics Nick. Some of the species have relatives in southern Western Australia where I live. One of the ones I have photographed in the past has the enticing name of Thelymitra Nuda.
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Old 09-04-2019   #21
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These are beautiful, and the colour rendition from the Pen F looks gorgeous. I also know how hard orchids often are to find. Thank you for showing us.

Marty
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Old 09-04-2019   #22
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I should ask you about native Orchids here in the Vic goldfields. These photos are just sublime, love them and looking forward to more and more!
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Old 09-04-2019   #23
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Lovely pics Nick. Some of the species have relatives in southern Western Australia where I live. One of the ones I have photographed in the past has the enticing name of Thelymitra Nuda.
John Mc
This one? It's one of my favourite species actually, we only get them down here on really rocky sites exposed to the Roaring Forties.

Quite a few of the Australian species are found across multiple States, although I think WA has the highest level of endemism. I'd love to get over there during wildflower season.


Thelymitra nuda (Plain Sun Orchid) | Tasman National Park (Pen F and m.ZD 60mm Macro)
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Old 09-04-2019   #24
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These are beautiful, and the colour rendition from the Pen F looks gorgeous. I also know how hard orchids often are to find. Thank you for showing us.

Thanks! They're definitely tricky to spot. It's not clear from the photos but the spider orchids above are only about 30mm high...
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