Bamboo Orchid

Of course, another post on New Zealand natives. The problem with natives here is that they are so awesome!

An entire forest of who knows what, at Wairere Falls.

On a recent hike, I was lucky enough to come across an incredible display of plants. The featured photo for this post is of Earina mucronata, Bamboo Orchid. It is an epiphytic orchid that has very distinct grass-like foliage. Unfortunately I didn’t see any that were blooming. That only happens in summer. I think that finding a wild orchid is about as much as I can ask, anyway.

Astelia hastata (Perching Lily) seedling, next to E mucronata.

In New Zealand, there are 3 native species of Earina, and they range across the entire country in the moisture laden forests. Even with the camera up close, it’s difficult to see the little bulbils at the base of each leaf. They max out at around a millimeter in width, so its no surprise. Scanning further along the branch, I found other interesting plants.

Two epiphytic ferns. Growing on top of the branch is Hymenophyllum dilatatum (Filmy Fern). Underneath, looking suspiciously like a kangaroo fern that you’d find as a houseplant, is Microsorum pustulatum. It turns out that this is where that kangaroo fern is from!

I couldn’t resist slipping this photo in. The new growth on this fern has a very cool bronze tinge to it. I don’t have a name for it, but it’s neat just to look at.IMG_3532

The bamboo orchid is only the second orchid I’ve ever come across out of garden cultivation. It was really neat to find it on my own, and you can bet that I’ll continue to do so in the future!

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