Plumed midge-orchid Facts
- First of all, Plumed midge-orchid serves as the unusual common name for the Geneplesium plumosum. This decidedly different looking orchid remains rather difficult to find, and thus rarely seen.
- Furthermore, the first formal description of the very rare flower only occurred in 1942. As a result of a detailed exploration of the area, clergyman and botanist Herman Rupp was the first to scientifically identify it.
- Quite unfortunately, most specimens of the remarkable plant only inhabit an extremely tiny area. However, a handful of individual plants also appear in the Morton National Park.
- Finally, researchers estimate the total number of individual plants still extant at no more than a few hundred. Because of this unfortunate fact, the IUCN understandably lists the species as Endangered.
Plumed midge-orchid Physical Description
Firstly, the gorgeous Plumed midge-orchid evolved as a terrestrial perennial. It also has both fine roots and tubers. Additionally, the tubers have a protective covering, and often extend to the surface.
Classified as a ground orchid, it rarely exceeds 12 in 30 cm) in height. However, it produces multiple short stems, each containing 1-6 tiny flowers. Also, the color pattern consists of green, with stripes of pink and purple.
Also, the relatively small leaves end directly below the flowers themselves. Uniquely, the petals have a covering of very fine hairs. Finally, though tiny, the non-fleshy fruit forms as a capsule, which contains hundreds of seeds.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Monocots
- Order: Asparagales
- Family: Orchiaceae
- Genus: Genoplesium
- Species: G. plumosum
Plumed midge-orchid Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most notably, the awesome Plumed midge-orchid, sadly, has a tiny habitat range. Excepting a few scattered plants in a National Park, the majority of this consists of an area of only 8 sq mi (20 sq km). This occupies a remote section of New South Wales, in Australia.
Further, in that region, its habitat remains restricted to to the Southern Tablelands. As a result, it mostly lives amid sections of low shrubs, within the confines of a forest. Yet it occasionally inhabits moss gardens, as well.
The marvelous flower also has an unusually adaptable blooming cycle. That’s because it typically blooms 4-6 weeks after a period of rain. However, this will occur in either the summer or the autumn seasons.
Quite unfortunately, a current count of its population does not exist. But, in 2008, only an estimated 250-280 plants existed. One reason for its steep decline appears to be the clearing of land. Secondly, however, seems to be overgrazing by an introduced species of rabbit.