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Spotted Sun buds

Spotted Sun opening

full Sun
Tigers or Donkeys
Melaluca squamea
Native Boronia

Flowering late Spring

For the last fortnight Sun orchids have been coming into flower. They first appeared at the Scamander Wildflower Park but now they are beginning to open up further inland. Sometimes they can be difficult to spot flowering as they will only open on a sunny day and then only for a few hours.

The recent rains and cold weather meant that some never opened at all and the delay also gave the fanua more opportunity to browse. Also flowering are the tiger orchids (known locally as donkey orchids) and milkmaids. Milkmaids look a bit like orchids but the book A Guide to Flowers and Plants of Tasmania, lists them as members of the Liliaceae family, that is, lilies.

Some damp gullies in the old growth forests behind St Helens are a mass of purple as the Melaleuca squamea puts all its energy into attracting pollinating insects and wandering photographers. Mixed in amongst the Melaleuca are the native Boronia and Pink Swamp Heath.

The most sweet smelling of the local natives are beginning to flower now, the Kunzea. Just past the Flagstaff Rd turnoff heading south out of St Helens are a mass of the white tuffed branches, attracting insects with their heady (to insects) aroma.

Just a few of the many natives flowering at the moment, in the order they appear on left

Common name Botantical name
Spotted Sun Orchid Thelymitra ixiodes

Spotted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra ixiodes
Spotted Sun Orchid Thelymitra ixiodes
Tiger Orchid Diuris sulphurea
Milkmaids Burchardia umbellata
Melaleuca Melaleuca squamea
Boronia Boronia pilosa
Pink Swamp Heath Sprengelia incarnata

Last month we mentioned the proliferation of frogs eggs and the arrival of snakes. Well a few Blue tongues are now also wandering about and a pair of wild ducks arrived in the local waterhole to clean out all the frogs eggs that had not become tadpoles. Frogs have such a hard time.

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