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


Corybas iridescens

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

Corybas 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 Corybas iridescens some in flower early August

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


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/