T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Nematoceras iridescens

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Subtribe: Acianthinae
Genus: Nematoceras |
Species: N. iridescens
Binomial name: Nematoceras iridescens
Synonyms: Acianthus rivularis, Corysanthes rivularis, Corybas rivularis, Nematoceras rivularis.

Nematoceras iridescens is a spider orchid and is a terrestrial tuberous herb which is 3 to 6cm high when in flower. It has a single green leaf. The flower is structurally the same as normal N iridescens, but the labellum lacks the very dark colouring. Areas of the labellum are translucent and lacking in any pigmentation. Flowers open red, but usually darken as they mature. Flowers remain open for several weeks.
They grow on very wet moss-covered banks and favours papa clay, limestone, and calcareous siltstone banks. Recorded from Taranaki, Wanganui, and the Rimutaka's.
It has now been found that spider orchids mimic mushrooms in order to trick fungus gnats into visiting them to pollinate them.

Photographed late July







Bank of  Nematoceras (Corybas) iridescens  some in flower early August

Photo below are of a spider orchid with a spider nest inside. 
They  are called spider orchids because of their long spidery perianth segments.