When do orchids flower?

This is one of the most commonly asked question.

The short answer is that in South Australia there will be potentially an orchid flowering somewhere in any month of the year but the caveat is that in certain months specifically December, January, February, and March it is very difficult to find any as there are only a few flowering species and most of them are restricted to localised/sensitive sites.  The flowering times for the highest number of species occur in winter and spring with October being the most prolific month for flowering.

 

chart-south-australian-flowering-times

To see how this varies across the state for the individual regions see the charts below.

Another is question “Will I find orchids when I visit a particular park on a particular day?” is not such an easy question to answer because it DEPENDS on so many different factors.

The timing of the rains affects the flowering time, for instance, Autumn orchids appear about 6 – 8 weeks after the first autumn rains.  Normally the South East is the best place but this year the lower South East did not have a good flowering due to the storms and associated cold with the wet conditions.

Pollination affects the likelihood of finding flowers.  Flowers remain open until pollination occurs.  If the pollination is delayed the flower will be on display for a longer time until it runs out of energy and naturally shrivels up.  To illustrate this NOSSA visited Scott Creek Conservation Park one day and there was a beautiful display of sun orchids along with several spider orchids but on a visit to the same site one week later, there were hardly any flowers left.  Many had been pollinated as was evidenced by the swollen capsules.

So as a rough guide click here for the species flowering times of South Australian Orchids and here for month by month information.  This data is based upon information found in the 2011 South Australia’s Native Orchids disk.

For detailed information, it is necessary to consult with someone who knows the orchids in the area but it may not always be easy to find such a person.  In which case, contact NOSSA and we may be able to, through our network, find someone to help.

sa-regions-flowering-times-copy

 

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