26 May 2009

Pretty Bunny Orchid - Eriochilus pulchellus

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Pretty Bunny Orchid - Eriochilus pulchellus

The Pretty Bunny Orchid (my label) refers to the meaning (small and beautiful) of its botanical name 'pulchellus.' I have given it this common name as I shall be comparing these Bunny Orchids in a later post and common names for most readers are much easier to remember than botanical ones. The orchid however is small and the flowers attractive, emphasised by the strong maroon markings on the labellum.

The most notable thing about this orchid is its small size that seldom exceeds 15 cm or 6" in height. The leaf is also very small and always less than 2 cm (3/4") in length. Apart from a single colony of these plants in the Albany region that occur on limestone, it is only recorded (usually in moss swards) on exposed granite outcrops extending from the coast to mallee regions well inland.

Flowers mostly number 3-5, rarely more or less, and usually only bloom during April and May.