Zeuxine oblonga

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Zeuxine oblongaFamily: Orchidaceae
Genus: Zeuxine
Common names: Native ground orchid, Common Jewel Orchid
ALA reference

The plant that I photographed last month is now carrying a head of ripening seed pods. Since every flower has produced a seed pod, I suspect that this species is self pollinating. Normally the structure of most orchids prevents self pollination from occurring and many orchids have very specific insect pollinators. It is to be hoped that some seeds will germinate to increase the population of this species here. (October 2011)

This is the first orchid I’ve seen in the reserve although Geodorum neocaledonicum was observed growing in the reserve more than 10 years ago and hopefully is still here. This plant is growing beside the southern firetrail and the somewhat fleshy flower stem is about 30 cm tall. It is deciduous and the leaves have already withered at flowering time – note the dead leaves at the base of the flower spike. The plants have a short creeping rhizome and form small colonies over time. (September 2011)