Edwards's Botanical Register/Appendix to the first twenty-three volumes/A sketch of the vegetation of the Swan River Colony/Orchidaceae

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About sixty species of this interesting order have already been discovered in this Colony; and if we regard either their singular structure, or their beautiful forms, or the fragrance, large size and gaudy colours of many of them, it is impossible to say that they at all yield in interest to the epiphytes of tropical countries. They are however all terrestrial; and there is an opinion that Orchidaceæ of that kind cannot be made to yield to the arts of cultivation. When, however, we consider how many plants are now common of which the same opinion was formerly entertained, and moreover how much beyond the skill of the last race of gardeners is that of the present day, I think it would be discreditable to the art, and a libel upon the science of horticulture, to say that in the cultivation of these plants there are any difficulties which patience and skill ought not to overcome. The great obstacles to encounter in the outset are, 1. to obtain the

roots in a perfectly healthy condition; and 2. to know exactly what the natural habits are of each particular species. Upon the latter point at least we possess quite information enough to authorize an attempt at their cultivation. In a valuable paper by Mr. James Drummond, in the Gardener's Magazine, vol. xiv. p. 425, are many particulars of direct practical bearing upon this question.

It appears that many of the species, such as Thelymitra, Macdonaldia, Pterostylis, Diuris, Prasophyllum, &c. have roots like those of the English Orchis morio, (fig. 1), and they will require the same kind of management.*

The mode of growth of others is quite different. The greater part of them have the roots extended to a considerable distance, that is, to the depth of several inches, underground, terminated by a bulb, and thickly clothed with numerous dry loose skins. In Glossodia (fig. 2 & 2*) Mr.

For permission to use the accompanying wood-cut, which was executed in illustration of Mr. Drummond's paper in the Gardener's Magazine, I am indebted to Mr. Loudon.

Drummond says, that "the bulb is renewed every year in the centre of several layers of bark-like substance, one of which layers is added every year by the decay of the old bulb. If the young bulb is dissected at the time when the plant is in flower, the layer of fibrous substance, which afterwards becomes the covering, is easily perceptible; it terminates in a point, which the following season becomes a root, and another root is produced from the bottom of next year's flower-stalk. In planting these roots the fibrous substance should not be removed, or the plant will not thrive. The layer can be easily traced back for ten or twelve years, and I have no doubt that many of these Orchidaceæ have continued to flourish in half a square inch of earth for ages."
"These coated species grow mostly on the exposed sides of hills, where the soil is a strong loam, mixed with a large proportion of gravel, and where their numerous coats must be of the greatest use in protecting their roots from the excessive heat of the summer sun. All the time they appear aboveground the weather is seldom warmer than in England in the month of May." Such plants as Caladenia (fig. 3 & 3*) deviate a little from this manner of growth, their roots forming knots, analogous to those on the roots of Arrhenatherum avenaceum, and ought, Mr. Drummond thinks, to be considered rather as reservoirs of nourishment, to enable the plant to flower and perfect seeds, than as true bulbs or buds.
"Young plants may be produced by dividing the roots; but they spring from the joints between the swellings of the root. One of these swellings, or tubers, is produced annually, or more than one when the root becomes forked, as it sometimes does." This description applies only to Glossodia and Caladenia, the species of all which seem to have the same natural habit.

Another plan of growth is to form a bulb at the end of long woolly roots, as in Drakæa (fig 5 &: 7), Caleana (fig. 4), and Leptoceras (fig. 8); and this sometimes takes place in an excessive degree, as is shewn at fig. 6, where a a are the new bulbs, and b the mother which brought them forth. Mr. Drummond has traced them in one species for more than a foot.

The same collector speaks thus of what he supposes to be a Diuris, and which, from the figure given (9), seems to be of that genus; but the description does not apply to it.

He says, "we have a fine showy orchis which propagates freely by the roots, and which I have no doubt would answer well in the open air in England, if the roots were treated like the Persian Ranunculus, and kept in a dry warm room in winter. The roots of the flowering plants are about six inches long, and resemble a good deal the roots of Anthericum Liliastrum, being thickest at the end farthest from the stem. Two or three are produced annually, and the old ones decay. On rich calcareous soil this orchis grows two feet high, and the flowers are large in proportion, and showy; the colours are orange and purple." Probably the plant intended is Caladenia longicauda. (Plate VIII. fig. A.)

To these hints it seems only necessary to add, that the summer heat of the ground in which such plants are found is probably about 80°; and to remind the reader that the land at Swan River is generally springy, so that there must be an abundant supply of moisture to the roots of plants when growing.

One of the finest and most numerous genera is Thelymitra, the species of which are stout herbaceous plants, with the habit of the European Orchis or Serapias, but with much gayer colours and larger flowers. Th. fusco-lutea, R. Br., is the only described species which I have seen, all the others being new; of these a figure of T. villosa,211 the most striking

(211) Thelymitra villoso (Tab. VIII. C); folio radicali oblongo apiculato subtùs villoso caulinis linearibus acuminatis glabris, racemo cylindraceo, floribus luteis, cuculli lacinils lateralibus glandulosis recurvis intermediâ denticulatâ emarginatâ.

(212) Thelymitra stellata; folio radicali oblongo glabro, racemo cylindraceo, floribus fuscis? stellato-patentibus: laciniis acuminatis, cuculli laciniis lateralibus fimbriatis margine postico pulvinatis villosis: intermediâ carnosâ galeatâ breviore dorso tuberculatâ.

(213) Thelymitra macrophylla; folio radicali erecto elongato lanceolato, racemo elongato cylindraceo, floribus purpureis, cuculli laciniis lateralibus parvis stuposis: intermediâ majore fornicatâ glabrâ.

(214) helymitra crinita; folio radicali oblongo apiculato glabro, racemo cylindraceo, floribus purpureis, cuculli laciniis lateralibus barbatis unguiculatis intermediâ fornicatâ emarginatâ dorso glanduloso-villosâ.

(215) Thelymitra campanulata; folio radicali lineari, racemo secundo multifloro, floribus purpureis campanulatis, cuculli laciniis lateralibus subulatis apice barbatis intermediâ tripartitâ dorso glandulosâ.—T. tigrinæ aff.

(216) Thelymitra graminea; folio radicali lineari, racemo secundo multifloro, floribus purpureis, cuculli laciniis lateralibus stuposis unguiculatis intermediâ fornicatâ integerrimâ glaberrimâ.

species, is given at Plate VIII. C. From these I think it necessary to distinguish those species which, like Th. flexuosa, Endl. and Th. venosa, R. Br., have the anther incumbent, and not parallel with the stigma. These have in fact been separated by Mr. Gunn, who names the species met with in Van Diemen's Land Macdonaldia, after Mrs. Smith, née Macdonald, a lady who has examined the Orchidaceous plants of that island with great care, and from whom a most beautiful series of dried specimens has reached me through the good offices of Mr. Gunn. Of two of these with yellow flowers, viz. M. Smithiana,217 and antennifera, there are figures at Plate IX. B & C; much handsomer than either is M, variegata, with purple speckled flowers.

Next to Thelymitra in point of beauty are the species of Glossodia, Diuris, and Caladenia; among which are numerous species of the most exquisite forms and gayest colours. Glossodia Brunonis, Endl., has violet flowers two inches in diameter, spotted with brilliant purple; both it and G. emarginata224 have large roots, enveloped in numerous coarse skins,

(217) Macdonaldia. Perianthium regulare, patulum. Labellum sessile, foliolis conforme. Columna semiteres triloba, cucullata, laciniis nunc appendiculatis. Anthera terminalis, in stigma incumbens—Caulis flexuosus, foliosus, apice pauciflorus. (§ 2. Biaurella; cuculli lobo medio obsoleto, lateralibus appendiculatis.)

Macdonaldia Smithiana (Gunn mss.); caule unifloro 3-phyllo, floribus luteis, sepalis petalisque obtusis, cuculli trilobi glabri laciniis lateralibus nanis. (Van Diemen's Land.) Tab. IX. B.

(218) Macdonaldia concolor; caule triphyllo subbifloro, floribus luteis, sepalis petalisque obtusis, cuculli trilobi glabri laciniis lateralibus majoribus rotundatis. (Thelymitra flexuosa, Endl.)

(219) Macdonaldia antennifera (Tab. IX. C.); caule subtriphyllo paucifloro, floribus luteis, sepalis petalisque obtusis, cucullo a tergo appendicibus 2 carnosis clavatis emarginatis aucto.

(220) Macdonaldia (Biaurella) variegata; floribus purpureis, sepalis petalisque linearibus acuminatis, cuculli laciniis lateralibus lanceolatis subcarinatis intermediâ obsoletâ, antherâ carnosâ obtusâ elongatâ loculis brevibus semicircularibus membranaceis.

(221) Macdonaldia (Biaurella) spiralis; folio radicali spirali caulino solitario ovato, caule unifloro, floribus purpureis, cuculli laciniis lateralibus carnosis dolabriformibus intermediâ obsoletâ, antherâ obtusâ apice papillosa.

(222) Macdonaldia (Biaurella) cyanea; caule stricto subbifloro, floribus cyaneis, cuculli laciniis lateralibus apice dentatis intermediâ obsoletâ, antherâ apice trilobâ. (Van Diemen's Land.)

(223) Macdonaldia venosa.=Thelymitra venosa. R.Br.

(224) Glossodia (Elytranthe) emarginata; caule unifloro, columnæ alâ integer-

and as sweet as a chesnut, even when dried; they would certainly afford a delicate article of food. Of the genus Diuris some, as D. filifolia (Tab. VIII. B) and D. Drummondi,225 have yellow flowers, more or less spotted with purple; others, as D. corymbosa228 and porrifolia, are almost wholly purple; these flowers have the two anterior sepals narrow and projecting like two tails, while the two lateral petals are broad and spreading like a pair of wings, the back sepal has the form of a bird's head and neck, and the whole resembles something from fairy land upon the wing.

The Caladenias are well known to be beautiful plants,

rimâ, appendicibus 2 linearibus truncatis membranaceis, labello oblongo-lineari subemarginato medio geniculato.

(225) Diuris Drummondi; foliis ensiformibus erectis scapo multò brevioribus, floribus flavis secundis, labelli lobo medio unicarinato ovato complicato lateralibus rotundatis integerrimis longiore.

(226) Diuris filifolia (Tab. VIII. B.); foliis setaceis scapo multò brevioribus, floribus flavis, labelli lobo medio unicarinato ovato complicato lateralibus rotundatis dentatis longiore.

(227) Diuris laxiflora; floribus flavis, pedunculis longissimis capillaribus bracteis linearibus canaliculatis duplò longioribus, labelli lobo medio subrotundo basi imâ unicarinato lateralibus multò minoribus margine postico denticulatis.

(228) Diuris corymbosa; foliis ensiformibus linearibusque erectis scapo trifloro brevioribus, floribus purpureis subcorymbosis, pedicellis bracteis longioribus, labelli lobis rotundatis subæqualibus intermedio convexo subemarginato basi imâ unicarinato.

(229) Diuris porrifolia; foliis lanceolatis linearibusque acuminatis scapo monophyllo brevioribus, pedicellis bracteis foliaceis brevioribus, floribus purpureis, labelli lobis oblongis rotundatis intermedio minore convexo cuneato unicarinato.

(230) § Eucaladenia. Sepala et petala subæqualia ringentia, haud producta; Labello seriatim glanduloso tripartito.

Caladenia marginata; folio radicali oblongo cauli subæquali, sepalis petalisque obtusiusculis, labelli glandulis biseriatis filiformibus conformibus: lobis lateralibus rotundatis intermedio triangulari basi fimbriato apice glandulis marginato, disco nudo.—(K. Geo.'s Sound; Collie.)

(231) Caladenia ochreata; folio oblongo acute basi ochrea laxa truncata vaginato caule subramoso breviore, sepalis petalisque obtusiusculis, labelli glandulis biseriatis filiformibus conformibus: lobis lateralibus rotundatis intermedio triangulari acuminato subcrispo margine calloso, disco nudo.

(232) Caladenia unguiculata; folio lineari caule unifloro breviore, sepalis petalisque obtusiusculis, labelli cuneati longè unguiculati glandulis 4-seriatis ramentaceis infimis majoribus: lobis dentatis lateralibus truncatis intermedio oblongo, disco glanduloso.

(233) Caladenia mollis; folio oblongo caule elongate 4-plò breviore, sepalis petalisque acutiusculis, labelli glandulis biseriatis approximatis: lobis lateralibus rotundatis intermedio lanceolato utrinque basi 3-dentato, disco nudo.

but those of Swan River are far more so than those of the South and East coast; the most striking among them are C. flava, R. Br , a species with large yellow flowers; C. sericea,236 with large violet flowers; all the section Pentisea,237 whose colours and size vie with those of the gayest African Iridaceæ; and the singular C. longicauda.242 of which there is a figure at Plate VIII. A. As microscopical objects, the glands on the species of the section Calonema239 are especially

(234) Caladenia elongata; folio llneari-oblongo caule elongato 4-plò breviore, sepalis petalisque acutiusculis, labelli glandulis biseriatis approximatis: lobis lateralibus oblongis intra apicem dente subsolitario instructis intermedio lanceolato, disco nudo utrinque basi pluri-dentato, anthem longe mucronata.

(235) Caladenia reptans; folio oblongo caule unifloro duplò breviore, sepalis petalisque obtusiusculis, labelli glandulis biseriatis approximatis: lobis lateralibus ovatis obtusis intermedio ovato subdentato omninò eglanduloso.

(236) Caladenia sericea; folio oblongo-ovato molliter sericeo caule 1-2-floro pluriès breviore, sepalis petalisque obtusiusculis, labelli cuneati glandulis minutis 4-seriatis basi maximis carnosis: lobis æqualibus integerrimis intermedio disco glanduloso.

(237) § Pentisea. Sepala et petala subæqualia patula haud producta; labello indiviso undique glanduloso.

Caladenia gemmata; folio ovato undulato coriaceo caule villoso unifloro aphyllo pluriès breviore, labello subrotundo-ovato acuto glandulis depressis undique tecto.———Flowers purple.

(238) Caladenia ixioides; folio ovato obtuso scapo bibracteato unifloro ter breviore, labello oblongo medio constricto apice serrulate glandulis minutis ramentaceo.———Flowers large, yellow.

(239) § Calonema. Sepala et petala ringentia longissime acuminata; labello integro sæpius margine fimbriate.

Caladenia filifera; folio lineari caule duplò breviore, sepalis petalisque apice filiformibus plumose-glandulosis, labello ovate-lanceolate obtuso dentato basi integro medio constricto: glandulis biseriatis.———Flowers purple.

(240) Caladenia denticulata; folio lineari caule villoso breviore, sepalis petalisque apice filiformibus plumoso-glandulosis, labello ovate-lanceolato obtuso supra medium denticulate: glandulis biseriatis.———Flowers yellow.

(241) Caladenia hirta; folio oblongo caule furcato elato multò breviore, sepalis petalisque acuminatis, labello oblongo serrate obtuso: glandulis 4-seriatis infimis capitatis.

(242) Caladenia longicauda (Plate VIII. A); folio anguste oblongo canaliculato villosissimo caule furcate elato multò breviore, sepalis petalisque acuminatis glandulosis, labello ovato-oblongo obtuso basi cordato fimbriato ultra medium serrate: glandulis conformibus 4-seriatis versus apicem evanescentibus———Varies in height from one to two feet, and proportionably in the size of the flowers.

(243) Caladenia discoidea; folio oblongo-lineari obtuso villoso caule subbifloro breviore, sepalis petalisque acutissimls aristatis, labelli evalis pectinati disco glandulis depressis sine ordine onusto.

deserving of notice. Leptoceras,244 regarded by Dr. Brown as a section of Caladenia, is composed of plants far less attractive than the genus Caladenia, strictly so called.

Besides these Epiblema grandiflorum, R. Br., a fine Bletia-like plant with purple flowers, is found; together with Lyperanthus nigricans and suaveolens, R. Br., which have no pretensions to beauty, but have a very singular appearance with their dingy sad-coloured flowers, and are very fragrant; the two latter seem in no respect different from those of the East coast.

The remainder of the published genera consists of inconspicuous species of Eriochilus,247 Pterostylis,252 Prasophyl-

(244) Leptoceras oblonga; folio oblongo obtuso, racemo elongato internodiis floribus longipedunculatis longioribus, labelli oblongi apice angustati crispi glandulls 2-seriatis teretibus: infimis fasciculatis.

(245) Leptoceras fimbriata; glaberrima, folio minimo cucullato acuminato, caule stricto tenui 1-3-floro, floribus approximatis, labello pubescente cuneato eglanduloso apice dentibus glandulosis fimbriato.

(246) Leptoceras pectinata; glaberrima, folio ovato acuminato, caule stricto 2-floro, flore inferiore internodio breviore, labello pubescente cuneato eglanduloso apice dentibus glandulosis medio excepto pectinatim marginato.

(247) Eriochilus scaber; folio epigæo coriaceo subrotundo-ovato acutissimo, caule nano unifloro ovario bracteaque oblongâ scabris.

(248) Eriochilus tenuis; folio epigæo membranaceo ovato-oblongo elongate obtuso. caule tenui unifloro bracteaque ovata glabris, ovario tomentoso.

(249) Eriochilus dilatatus; folio medio caulis inserto lineari-lanceolato coriaceo basi dilatato, caule paucifloro ovariisque glabris.

(250) Eriochilus latifolius; folio medio caulis inserto lineari-oblongo, caule multifloro apice pubescente, bracteis oblongis ciliatis rachi ovariisque tomentosis, labello subrotundo, sepalo dorsali columnâ multò longiore, antheræ rimâ tomentosâ.

(251) Eriochilus multiflorus; folio medio caulis inserto ovali acuminato, caule multifloro apice pubescente, bracteis oblongis ciliatis rachi ovariisque tomentosis, labello ovali obtuso, sepalo dorsali columnâ paulò longiore, antheræ rimâ glabriusculâ.———Flowers much smaller than in the last species.

(252) Pterostylis vittata; caule folioso, foliis radicalibus nullis caulinis ovato-lanceolatis, labello bifido fimbriate appendice indivisâ, columnæ alis deorsum acuminatis barbatis.

(253) Pterostylis pyramidalis; caule folioso unifloro, foliis inferioribus ovatis in petiolum angustatis superioribus minoribus sessilibus, labelli laminâ lineari apice paulo latiore, appendice penicillatâ, sepalis lateralibus filiformibus supremi longitudine.

(254) Pterostylis barbata; caule folioso unifloro, foliis ovatis acuminatis imbricatis supremis vaginantibus inflatis, labelli laminâ subulatâ clavatâ barbatâ sub apice nudâ, appendice glabrâ apice denticulatâ, sepalis acuminatissimis.

(255) Pterostylis scabra; caule folioso unifloro scabro, foliis ovato-lanceolatis acuminatis, labelli lamina apice filiformi clavatâ appendice penicillatâ, sepalorum lateralium acumine filiformi ipsis breviore.

lum,256 Microtis,261 the names and characters of which are given below, but none of which are at all worth introduction to gardens as objects of ornament.

Of the genus Caleana, however, there is one species which, although inconspicuous in appearance, requires to be noticed on account of its remarkable irritability, of which Mr. James Drummond has given an account in the Gardener's Magazine before referred to. He calls this C. nigrita,262 one of the most curious of sensitive plants; his description being made without a sufficient acquaintance with the organs of fructification must be remodelled, but was probably intended to be to the following effect. The column is a boat-shaped box, resembling a lower lip; the labellum forms a lid that exactly fits it, and is hinged on a claw which reaches the middle of the column; when the flower opens, it (the labellum) turns round within the column, and falls back, so that, the flower being inverted, it stands fairly over the latter. The moment a small insect touches its point, the labellum makes a sudden revolution, brings the point to the bottom of the column, passing the anther in its way, and thus makes prisoner any insect which the box will hold. When it catches an insect it remains shut while its prey continues to move about; but if no capture is made the lid soon recovers

(256) Prasophyllum giganteum; ovariis cylindraceis subsessilibus bracteâ acutâ plus duplò longioribus, sepalis acutis lateralibus supernè distinctis basi cohærentibus, labello oblongo-lanceolato undulato, folio dimidium superius caulis breviore.

(257) Prasophyllum macrotys; ovariis cylindraceis subsessilibus bracteâ acutissimâ plus duplò longioribus, spicâ multiflorâ, sepalis acutiusculis lateralibus supernè distinctis, columnæ laciniis lateralibus linearibus antherâ duplò longioribus, folio dimidium superius caulis subæquante.

(258) Prasophyllum ovale; ovariis clavatis bracteâ ovali ter longioribus, sepalis obtusis posticis distinctis labelli longitudine, labelli ovalis supra medium callosi apice obtuso undulato.

(259) Prasophyllum gracile; ovariis pedicellatis bracteâ acutâ ter longioribus, sepalis acuminatis lateralibus basi cohærentlbus, labello cordato ovato acuto nudo medio semel undulato, folio caule multo longiore.

(260) Prasophyllum parvifolium; ovariis clavatis, spicâ pauciflorâ obtusâ, sepalis acuminatis lateralibus basi saccatis, petalis conformibus, rostello longissimo setaceo.

(261) Microtis atrata; folio basi cucullato caule longiore, spicâ densâ cylindraceâ, sepalis lateralibus oblongis revolutis supremo subrotundo, petalis ovatis acutis, labello oblongo obtuso nudo.———Flores minutissimi atri.

(262) Caleana nigrita; folio ovato acuminato obtuso basi cucullato, scapo nudo, labelli laminâ lineari tuberculatâ basi subcordatâ apice angustatâ indivisâ.

its position. This plant is rare, and where it does grow is not easily found, its whole appearance being that of charcoal, among which it usually springs up.

Besides these the Colony yields two curious new irritable genera of the Arethusean division of this order ; both however small-flowered, and apparently dull-coloured. Of these

Fig. 3.

Drakæa elastica263 has a single flower placed at the end of a slender smooth erect scape, from twelve to eighteen inches high, and its labellum, which is hammer-headed, and placed on a long arm with a moveable elbow joint in the middle, is stated by Mr. Drummond to resemble an insect suspended in the air, and moving with every breeze. The other plant

Fig. 4.
Spiculæa ciliata.

(263) Drakæa. (Arethuseae), Sepala et petala linearia, conformia, reflexa. Labelli unguis longissimus, medio articulatus; lamina peltata, convexa, cum pede suo mobilis decidua. Columna elongata, clavata, semiteres, basi

is Spiculæa ciliata,264 whose rusty flowers when spread open may be compared to long-legged spiders, the lip with a long solid lamina looking like their body, while an appendage at its apex, which is apparently moveable, will not be unlike the head of such a creature.

utrinque auriculata. Anthera terminalis, persistens, loculis approximatis. Rostellum ovatum, acuminatum, convexum.

Drakæa elastica. (Fig. 3.) Radices lanatæ, apice bulbosæ. Folium radicale coriaceum, subrotundum, cordatum. Scapus erectus pedalis, glaber, squamulâ infra medium solitaria, uniflorus. Labellum basi tuberculatum, crinitum, angustatum, utrinque dente retrorso auctum.

(264) Spiculæa (Arethuseæ). Sepala et petala linearia, conformia, patentia. Labelli unguis elongatus, teres, inarticulatus; lamina linearis, peltata, apice appendice mobili aucta. Columna elongata, arcuata, infra medium semiteres, marginata; superiùs alata: alis marginantibus, basi liberis falcatis, apice circa antheram in cucullum breve quadrilobum confluentibus: lobis lateralibus longioribus. Anthera terminalis, persistens, loculis approximatis. Stigma meniscoideum.

Spiculæa ciliata. (Fig. 4.) Herba spithamæa, glabra, verosimiliter fusca. Folium radicale coriaceum, cordatum, acuminatum. Scapus medio uni-squamatus. Racemus multiflorus, 2-3 poll. longus. Sepala filiformia, spathulata; petala etiam angustiora, haud apice dilatata, 5 lin. longa. Labelli lamina carnosa, supra medium affixa, basi angustata ciliata retusa; appendice apicis ovali membranacea.