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Orchids of Australia
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Selected Orchid Species

Corybas iconMountain Helmet–orchid
Corysanthes diemenica

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Acianthus icon Mayfly Orchid
Acianthus caudatus

Leporella icon Hare Orchid
Leporella fimbriata

Arachnorchis icon Green-comb Spider Orchid
Arachnorchis dilatata

Lyperanthus icon Brown Beaks
Lyperanthus suaveolens

Arachnorchis icon Wine-lipped Spider-orchid
Arachnorchis oenochila

Prasophyllum icon Scented Leek Orchid
Prasophyllum odoratum

Caladenia icon Black Tongue Orchid
Caladenia* congesta

Prasophyllum icon Short-lipped Leek-orchid
Prasophyllum brevilabre

Chiloglottis1 icon Common Bird Orchid
Chiloglottis valida

Pterostylis icon Alpine Greenhood
Pterostylis alpina

Pterostylis icon Trim Greenhood
Pterostylis concinna

Cryptostylis icon Small Tongue-orchid
Cryptostylis leptochila

Pterostylis icon Cobra Greenhood
Pterostylis grandiflora

Cryptostylis icon Large Tongue-orchid
Cryptostylis subulata

Pterostylis icon Tall Greenhood
Pterostylis melagramma

Dipodium icon Pink Hyacinth Orchid
Dipodium roseum

Pterostylis icon Nodding Greenhood
Pterostylis nutans

Diuris icon Wallflower Orchid
Diuris orientis

Pterostylis icon Baby Greenhood
Pterostylis parviflora

Diuris icon Mountain Golden Moths
Diuris monticola

Pterostylis icon Maroonhood
Pterostylis pedunculata

Diuris icon Leopard Orchid
Diuris pardina

Thelymitra icon Rabbit Ears
Thelymitra antennifera

Diuris icon Tiger Orchid
Diuris sulphurea

Thelymitra icon Tall Sun Orchid
Thelymitra media

Eriochilus icon Parson's Bands
Eriochilus cucullatus

Thelymitra icon Spotted Sun Orchid
Thelymitra merranae

Gastrodia icon Cinnamon Bells
Gastrodia sesamoides

Thelymitra icon Salmon Sun Orchid
Thelymitra rubra

Glossodia icon Wax-Lip
Glossodia Major

Mountain Helmet–Orchid

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/Corybas dilatatus
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.


References:
Personal observations
CSIRO Current species list
RetiredAussies.com
Wild Orchids of Victoria, Australia (2006) ISBN 0-9775372-0-X
1 DSE Threatened Species Advisory Lists (2005)

Images

Mountain Helmet-orchid Mountain Helmet-orchid
Aug 2007, Badger Creek, Vic
Corysanthes sp. aff. diemenica Colony Corysanthes Colony atop a fern
Aug 2008, Sherbrooke, Vic
Helmet-orchid front and side Helmet-orchid front and side
Sept 2007, Gembrook, Vic

Page Updated: 16-Aug-2009
© copyright 2017, Reiner Richter.
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