We have over 20 different species of native orchids at Booyong and after months of searching we have recently discovered a variety of plants and dedicated a small walk to show a range of natural orchids in a perfect and suitable environment.
The orchid featured in this post is commonly known as the Ironbark Orchid, Brush Box Orchid or White Feathered Orchid and it’s scientific name is Dendrobium Aemulum. There are two varieties – one that grows on both grey ironbark (Eucalyptus paniculata) and broad leaved ironbark (Eucalyptus fibrosa) and one with shorter canes found on the Brush Box tree. This orchid can also be found to a much lesser extent on coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum¨), water gums (Tristana laurina) and forest oaks (Casuarina torulosa).
The Ironbark orchid is endemic to Australia from southeastern New South Wales to northeastern Queensland, burying itself into the moisture of the bark. It is found in elevations of 30-1300m in cool to warm environments of lowlands, open dry sclerophyll forest and humid forests and can withstand extremes of temperature ranging from 40 degrees down to minus 5 Celsius.
Whilst common and often taken for granted flowers are expected in mid winter – spring and resemble white feathers. They are delicate 2.5cm and white which don’t last long and fade to pink as they age and die. Now that we know where these orchids are we’ll upload a photo when these sweetly fragrant orchids come into flower.
Whilst common, numbers are decreasing due to mature host trees being highly prized for building materials.