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Selected Orchid Species
Common Name: Mountain Helmet-orchid
(previously included with Veined Helmet-orchid)
Scientific Name: Corysanthes grumula DL Jones 2008
Corysanthes sp. aff. diemenica 4 / syn. Corybas sp. aff. diemenicus 4
(previously included with Corybas dilatatus)
Similar Species: Corysanthes sp. aff. diemenica et al
Corysanthes fimbriata/Corybas fimbriatus
Habitat: Grow in mountainous Eucalypt forests in rich soils or on tree trunks (most commonly Dicksonia antarctica). Flowers: August—September
One leaf with one flower 10–15mm across.
Description: A small orchid producing a single, bright-green leaf in autumn or early winter to 35mm across. Leaves are fairly rounded or kidney-shaped and some, particularly larger ones, are lobed. The leaves tend to be close to the surface, which can be the soil, tree-trunk or leaf litter, though they can extend to reach light. I recorded one in Bunyip State Park that needed to cover 6cm through eucalyptus litter before its leaf and flower formed.
Flowers form as an extension of the leaf stalk. The dorsal sepal of these purplish flowers is curved over the top forming a hood.
Can form large and dense colonies, depending on available habitat.
Status: Endemic to Australia
Listed as rare in Victoria1
Pollinator: Unknown, believed to be fungus gnats Nomenclature: This species was previously one of several included with Corysanthes diemenica and Corybas dilatatus (Veined Helmet-orchid).
The original genus name of Corysanthes (Robert Brown, 1810) was continued in use for Australasian species until the 1940's until it was decided that Corybas (Salisbury, 1807) be used. Recent research however has revealed their differences and Corysanthes is being used again (some bodies however have not accepted the new classification).
Discussion: As already stated, this orchid has been split off to become its own species. While I encourage research I am unable to separate these from the accepted true Corybas diemenicus, mainly because of variations I find in the wild. Certainly most that grow in tree-ferns in places such as Sherbrooke Forest are true to form in that they have "smaller flowers with a darker boss" but I know plants only metres away that produce larger flowers with a pale boss (for example, the first image to the right, taken near Healesville).
Personally, I believe a lot of variation is due to geography and habitat fragmentation (particularly since European settlement) which has resulted in certain features being prominent locally.
Aug 2007, Badger Creek, VicCorysanthes Colony atop a fern
Aug 2008, Sherbrooke, VicHelmet-orchid front and side
Sept 2007, Gembrook, Vic
Page Updated: 16-Aug-2009|
© copyright 2017, Reiner Richter.