Australia Orchid Trio photos and text by Alan W Stephenson
Habitat for Danhatchia
is steep leech infested rain forest but Acianthella amplexicaulis
is Littoral Rain Forest/Bangalay Sand Forest, which means it is semi
rainforest beside the ocean. The Speculantha
habitat is completely different in that it is thin heath vegetation
over sand stone rock shelf. The area is referred to as the Helipad as
occasionally helicopters from either the nearby naval base or National
Parks set down there.
The flowers of Danhatchia
are quite small, only slightly larger than a match head and it is
difficult to determine whether they are actually open. Stems of plants
are about the same size as the average ball point pen refill.
The leaf of Acianthella
sits about 70 mm (almost 3 inches) above ground level and is green
underneath. It is also lobed and looks similar to the club on a playing
is unique in that the entire plant from ground level measured 30
mm (1.25 inches). This is unusual as these plants can support up to
eight flowers on a stem to 30 cm (12 inches). I included a photo of the
rosette which is post flowering, as it along with the leaves (bracts)
on the plant was green. I had hoped the rosette may also be
white. I will check the site again next season to see if it
flowers the same colour.
is at 600 mts (2000 feet) above sea level, Speculantha parviflora
200 mts (600 feet) and Acianthella
amplexicaulis is at sea level.
I will be undertaking a survey on the Acianthella
site this year to determine the number and distribution of the species
as the nearest known population is 230 km (145 miles) further north. A
submission will need to be written to have the local population
declared as an endangered population.
Alan W Stephenson
National Conservation Officer
Australasian Native Orchid Society
fully functional. You do not need Google Earth