Monday, December 28, 2009

Infrequent Orchid Blogging

We went for a bushwalk today -- the Smith Creek loop track, up in the Tararua range.

Evolution has designed most of the native orchid flowers in NZ so that the stamens are sheltered from wet weather by a galeate dorsal sepal or labellum. The exception is the sun orchid genus (Thelymitra species), where the flowers are still similar to lilies, so they are vulnerable to raindrops washing away the pollen masses (pollinia).

To protect against this, Thelymitra flowers only risk opening and cross-fertilising with other plants if the weather has stayed sunny and dry for several days. In bad or even slightly dicey weather they stay closed, spill pollen on themselves and go to seed without exposing themselves to the outside world.

If they are not yet the official flower of Wellington then they should be.

6 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Are you saying they're a bunch of wankers?
~

mikey said...

Oh crap.

If my therapist reads this, she'll be making me go have social interactions again.

Fuckers...

Another Kiwi said...

We went for a bushwalk today -- the Smith Creek loop track, up in the Tararua range.

This is why my grabbing people at the Karori Widlife Sanctuary and asking them if they were Smut, was unsuccessful. Could have warned me, dude.
This spiteful self abuse flower should be our national emblem.

Jennifer said...

Is this flower blind?

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Gotta brush up on my "Nero Wolfe"- I wonder if he had Thelmitra specimens in the greenhouse.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

how infrequent is your orchid?