Journal Number 115
February 2010

Notes etc


A Colenso Society

7 November 2011 marks the bicentennial of the birth of the Rev. William Colenso, a polymath whose genius has been appreciated in limited fashion by church historians and with greater enthusiasm by botanists, Maori scholars, students of the history of science, print lovers and others. Much of his writing is relatively inaccessible.

I propose the formation of an incorporated Colenso Society. Its aims: to ensure his bicentennial is properly marked, and to encourage Colenso scholars by establishing a "Colenso Project".

The Colenso Project might trace and catalogue all of his surviving writing, transcribe and annotate his letters, republish Bagnall and Petersen's biography and make it all available in searchable form on line.

The concept is modelled on the Darwin Correspondence Project (

If you are interesting in contributing a little time, a little wisdom and ten dollars to permit as a first step the formation of a properly incorporated society please contact me. I will send you draft Rules for comment, add your email to my mailing list, and contact all responders early in 2010.

If you know of others who might be interested, please pass this to them. Don't send money yet.

Ian St George:

HERE IS A COLONY of Nematoceras hypogaeum in beech forest near Te Wharau in the Wairarapa - about 25km south of the type locality - on 2 November, well past its September flowering.

Note the beech-litter habitat and the very kidney-shaped, wider-than-long, "trilobed" leaves - a rather different shape from the flowering Nematoceras trilobum s.s. (aka N. "Trotters") - below.

Nematoceras hypogaeum Nematoceras trilobum
Nematoceras hypogaeum Nematoceras trilobum s.s.

The complete issue of Australian Journal of Botany, Volume 57 Number 4, 2009:

Kingsley W. Dixon and Stephen D. Hopper.
An introduction to Caladenia R.Br. - Australasia's jewel among terrestrial orchids.

Kingsley Dixon and Raymond L. Tremblay.
Biology and natural history of Caladenia.

Ryan D. Phillips, Gary Backhouse, Andrew P. Brown and Stephen D. Hopper.
Biogeography of Caladenia (Orchidaceae), with special reference to the South-west Australian Floristic Region.

Lachlan Farrington, Phyllis MacGillivray, Renate Faast and Andrew Austin.
Investigating DNA barcoding options for the identification of Caladenia (Orchidaceae) species.

Ryan D. Phillips, Renate Faast, Colin C. Bower, Graham R. Brown and Rod Peakall.
Implications of pollination by food and sexual deception for pollinator specificity, fruit set, population genetics and conservation of Caladenia (Orchidaceae).

Sophie Petit, Manfred Jusaitis and Doug Bickerton.
Effect of pollen load, self-pollination and plant size on seeds and germination in the endangered pink-lipped spider orchid, Caladenia behrii.

Renate Faast, Lachlan Farrington, José M. Facelli and Andrew D. Austin.
Bees and white spiders: unravelling the pollination syndrome of Caladenia rigida (Orchidaceae).

Fiona Coates and Michael Duncan.
Demographic variation between populations of Caladenia orientalis - a fire-managed threatened orchid.

Raymond L. Tremblay, Maria-Eglée Perez, Matthew Larcombe, Andrew Brown, Joe Quarmby, Doug Bickerton, Garry French and Andrew Bould.
Dormancy in Caladenia: a Bayesian approach to evaluating latency.

Raymond L. Tremblay, Maria-Eglée Perez, Matthew Larcombe, Andrew Brown, Joe Quarmby, Doug Bickerton, Garry French and Andrew Bould.
Population dynamics of Caladenia: Bayesian estimates of transition and extinction probabilities.

Renate Faast and José M. Facelli.
Grazing orchids: impact of florivory on two species of Caladenia (Orchidaceae).

Magali Wright, Rob Cross, Kingsley Dixon, Tien Huynh, Ann Lawrie, Les Nesbitt, Andrew Pritchard, Nigel Swarts and Richard Thomson.
Propagation and reintroduction of Caladenia.


The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbarium, University of Basel, Switzerland, has incorporated the slide collection of Dr. Karlheinz Senghas, the well known orchid expert and former Curator of the Botanical Garden Heidelberg, into its virtual "Word Orchid Iconography".

Visiting the homepage of the Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz (, it is easy to locate the collection of orchid photographs and drawings which is extremely large and covers a substantial part of the world's orchid flora (in total more than 60,000 pictures).

In the last few months, the staff of the Swiss Orchid Foundation has selected, digitised and incorporated some 10,500 photographs and line drawings from the private collection of Dr. Karlheinz Senghas into its "Word Orchid Iconography". This invaluable archive, that covers orchids in all continents, is now available to orchid specialists worldwide.

Dr. Karlheinz Senghas was born in 1928. After having achieved his university-entrance diploma, he started his studies in biology at Heidelberg, where he met Professor Dr. Werner Rauh and to whom he later submitted his PhD thesis. In 1960 Rauh appointed Senghas to the post of scientific head of the Botanical Garden Heidelberg with the task to build up its orchid collection.

The Heidelberg collection expanded rapidly under his leadership and through his research and collecting activities (1960: ca. 400 living species; 1993: ca. 6000 species). In addition, he networked with other botanical gardens, organised orchid exhibitions and conferences and published his research results. He also published many articles on orchids in various orchid magazines.

His most important orchid publication was his authorship of 5 volumes of the third edition of Rudolf Schlechter "Die Orchidee", of which he was also a co-editor with Professor Friedrich Brieger. His rich and extensive publication list may be searched on the webpage of the Foundation at Bibliorchidea.

His active research work brought him several distinctions, notably Senghasia and Senghasiella, orchid genera dedicated to him, and the spectacular bucket orchid Coryanthes senghasiana named in his honour.

Following his retirement he continued to attend conferences and meetings of orchid societies and published in various magazines, notably "Journal für den Orchideenfreund".

Karlheinz Senghas died on February 4, 2004. His widow, Mrs. Irmgard Senghas kindly gave permission to the Swiss Orchid Foundation to copy his slide collection and to make it accessible on the foundation's website.

You can examine his archive on the homepage of Swiss Orchid Foundation SOF through the link "Database Search", "Advanced Search", "Collector/Photo by: 'K. Senghas'" " Search".

GARY LITTLE SENT photographs of his local Singularybas - from Diggers Valley, Northland
(back cover picture, and Fig. 5).

This appears to be similar to Singularybas oblongus, similar too to the plant photographed by a
Mt Taranaki roadside (Fig.6) but the mat of hair-like labellar papillae are only variably present -
ranging from a 3-day whisker to mere stubble. Note also the Otago form (Fig.7).

Singularybas Fig 5  
Back Cover Fig 5  
Fig 6 Fig 7  
Fig 6 Fig 7  

PETER DE LANGE EMAILED (27 October), "Just thought I would let you know that finally after 19 years of absence last week we rediscovered Linguella puberula at the North Cape Scientific Reserve. Probably the largest population in New Zealand.

The original find was made by Lisa Forester and Gillian Crowcroft in October 1990 when they were searching for Doug McCrae's Thelymitra matthewsii plant (which legend has it that he'd found it in the badlands beyond the Serpentinite quarry). We (Peter de Lange, Lisa and Gillian identified the plant in the field using a copy of Flora 2 we'd had in the Department of Conservation truck.

We had no way of marking the site then except by erecting a cairn of ironstone blocks - this seems to have washed away because the following year we could not find the population, and that remained the case for the next 18 years.

Last week in another attempt to find the site, Jeremy Rolfe and I criss-crossed the badlands finding nothing, whilst skirting back to the North Cape Road, we stopped to admire an unusual Petalochilus (something close to P. bartlettii - these plants had no marginal calli present which matches Jones's description of this species but cf. Scanlen's images of this species where marginal calli are not present ) and whilst Jeremy was photographing this I found numerous rosettes of what could only be Linguella. Nothing flowering though.

Later that day Anne Fraser, Maureen Young, Andrew Townsend (DoC Northland) and Janeen Collings (DoC Northland) came over - we had all been looking (successfully this time) for Thelymitra matthewsii - Anne and Maureen had found earlier that day 10 plants in two sites, eight sterile and two fruiting, when we decided to walk to the trig station. Anne and Maureen found several very large populations of flowering Linguella just up the old road from the one I had found earlier that morning - and these were flowering.

We gave up counting after about 500 flowering, fruiting, and rosette-stage plants were seen. Interestingly all we found on the south side of the road admixed amongst Lepidosperma filiforme but always on the more exposed side of this sedge.

Associated species included sparse Petalochilus bartlettii s.l. and the liverwort Lethocolea pansa. Plumatichilos - its usual bed fellow - was scarce at the Cape this year (we found one fruiting plant).

Aside from this pleasing find we were delighted by the spectacular show of Thelymitra "darkie" which at the Cape is distinctive for its very dark pink flowers, T. "roughleaf" (also mostly pink though a few dark blue plants were seen), and myriad pale pink, pink and white entomophilous T. longifolia.

A very dark pink Thelymitra with a column somewhat akin to the T. pauciflora agg. left us perplexed - we never saw anything like it again."

PAT ENRIGHT, WHO VISITED offspring in Beijing late in 2009, pointed out this website advertising a book on Chinese orchids: "Their prices are relatively cheap compared to the bookshop prices for anything English language in Beijing:"

THE THIRD ISSUE of the North American Native Orchid Journal for 2009 is now available at

All four issues of volume 5 (1999) are now also available.

MIKE LUSK EMAILED (2 Nov 09), "I found a large Earina mucronata in the Kaitake Range, Taranaki recently. There were perhaps 100 small beetles and one fly entering the flowers but unfortunately I couldn't see any pollinia. I reckon there were so many beetles that pollinia would have been removed long before I was there." (Figs 13, 14, 17).

Fig 13 Fig 14 Fig 17
Fig 13 Fig 14 Fig 17

The fly looks like the one photographed by Doug McCrae, on Microtis, on the cover of our book - Ed.

GORDON SYLVESTER EMAILED, "I have just returned home from a little warm-up jaunt for Labour Weekend. Called into a little reserve between the sea and the Highway called Mananui. It covers about a 800m by 2 km wide strip of sand dunes. I had little expectation of any thing in the strip. However I was wrong.

Almost two thirds of the track is littered both sides with a Nematoceras: trilobate leaf, flowers just starting to form. Leaf sizes from 12mm across to a little more that 25mm across. It will be a spectacular show in about a month to a month and a bit time.

On a windfall beside the track was Ichthyostomum pygmaeum along with Winikia cunninghamii and Earina autumnalis. A little further on various forms of Pterostylis sps. showed up including my Pt.'gigantium' and Pt. irsoniana with the reddish central vein on the leaf. There were some variations in the graminea type leaves remaining.

Out on the sand dunes part of the track were Microtis leaves. The Pterostylis was the only species with visible flower buds. However the Nem trilobum showed flower buds at the basal leaf, and the Ich. pygmaeum showed a couple of flower stalk vestiges. Will need to return one afternoon in about a month's time.

Managed to have a look in the bush at Shantytown. Noted Earina mucronata in flower. Earina autumnalis, Winikia cunninghamii, Microtis unifolia. Drymoanthus adversus. and a Pterostylis -- looks like banksii until you have a closer look at it." (Fig.19).

  Fig 19

(7 November), "Just back from a short trip to Lake Mahinapuna.

This little plant (Fig.8) was one of several found both at the lake track and also another nearby track Mananui Track. At least half of the populations in both areas exceeded 400mm tall.

In addition Pterostylis irsoniana was in various stages of flowering."

  Fig 8
    Fig 8

GARY LITTLE SENT an excellent close-up of a floret of Microtis unifolia (Fig.18).

Note how the flower retains its shape (doesn't wilt) even though it has been pollinated - its ovary swelling, and its column black and atrophic.

  Fig 18
    Fig 18

THE EDITOR'S VERY GOOD ORCHID TRIP started at Kaitoke in the Tararuas where Singularybas oblongus was in full flower.

Thence to the Apiti track near Norsewood, in the Ruahines, where Nematoceras papillosum, Pterostylis montana sensu Hatch, the pterostylises with the hooked dorsals and the short deflexed lateral sepals (Fig.4) were beginning to flower, a last N. iridescens lingered on, Prasophyllum and Microtis were starting.

Fig 4 - Pterostylis

Thence to Iwitahi where the Simpliglottis valida (Fig.22) were superb, as was the company.

Simpliglottis valida
Fig 22 - Simpliglottis valida

Thence to Whakapapa where Nematoceras aff. trilobum "roundleaf" (Fig.25) was in full flower.

Nematoceras aff trilobum roundleaf
Fig 25 - Nematoceras aff. trilobum "roundleaf"

Thence (on the Taihape/Napier road) a visit to Glenross station and the nearby Blowhard reserve, the type locality for Nematoceras papillosum which was in full flower at lower altitude but in bud at 800m, where a single N. longipetalum (Fig.24) also hung on in full flower, and where a patch of N. trilobum s.s. was in full flower (Fig.23).

Nematoceras trilobum   Nematoceras longipetalum
Fig 23 - Nematoceras trilobum s.s.   Fig 24 - Nematoceras longipetalum

Thence to the Sunrise track in the Ruahines, where the orchids were similar to those at Apiti. Thence to Cape Turnagain, the type locality for N. macranthum, which he found, but which, however, had flowered about mid-October.

MARGARET MENZIES WROTE, "Glyn, Claire and I went up to the Waitere on 22 August looking for the Molloybas cryptanthus, and found the white and red forms, nearly finished flowering. The week after that we took a guy to see it, and it was a real struggle to find a good one - I think he thought we were nuts, but he got a good photograph of it.

Meanwhile we almost walked on a patch of tiny white Nematoceras aff. trilobum in the middle of the track, a cute cupface looking like ET, not as big as my little fingernail (Fig. 26).

Not far away was another little white N. aff. trilobum, tiny as well - quite a bit of red inside - dorsal different, with a fantail-shaped labellum.

There was also another N. aff. trilobum, whose sepals were tall and straight and the petals very short (Fig. 29).

Fig 26   Fig 29
Fig 26 - Nematoceras aff trilobum   Fig 29 - Nematoceras aff trilobum

On 27 September Gary, Ina, Ernie and I went down the Omoana Rd to the old red bridge. We found masses of N. orbiculatum - some red all over (Figs 27, 28), two lots of N. macranthum (Fig. 32) - the group by the bridge was huge.

Also Pterostylis and Chiloglottis leaves. On the roadside we found N. iridescens.

Nematoceras orbiculatum   Nematoceras orbiculatum
Fig 26 - Nematoceras orbiculatum   Fig 29 - Nematoceras orbiculatum
Nematoceras macranthum    
Fig 32 - Nematoceras macranthum    

THE ANOS VICTORIA BULLETIN for December 2009 [42(6): 6] showed a stunning shot of Pterostylis sp. aff. papuana from Papua New Guinea (Fig.31).

Great colour - Ed.

  Fig 31
    Fig 31

PAT ENRIGHT EMAILED, "There are some interesting orchid books on this site -ürkei_tefno_94985.html

DR. H. C. ERICH NELSON (1897-1980).

Erich Nelson spent his childhood in Berlin and, after World War I, started as an artist. He specialised in watercolour paintings of landscapes and vegetation. In Italy in 1928 he came across orchids. Henceforth orchids formed his purpose in life as an artist, scientist and as a scientific illustrator.

In the context of the growing National Socialism he had to leave Germany with his wife Gerda and, after a stop in South Tyrol, he found a second homeland in Chernex sur Montreux. By 1931 he had published his first work on the orchids of Germany and the bordering regions, and after many journeys and tireless painting, and after having intensely studied the orchid literature, he published his magnum opus between 1954 and 1976.

Erich Nelson died in 1980 of a tragic road accident and left an important number of scientific illustrations, studies and watercolour paintings. All 750 orchid drawings, watercolour paintings and studies of Erich Nelson have been digitised, georeferenced and the nomenclature updated by the Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz. The international public now has access to his work through the website of the foundation

Erich Nelson was not only an artist, but also a scientific illustrator. He showed the beauty of nature with great sensitivity in his landscape watercolours. As a scientific illustrator, he documented the European orchids with accuracy. His scientific illustrations are among the best in existence.

Even today a scientific artist is necessary for this kind of documentation, as neither the computer nor photos are able to provide so much exact and aesthetic information on a single page.

Fig. 37 shows Serapius clavigera; Fig. 38 shows Ophrys fuscata.

Serapius clavigera   Ophrys fuscata
Fig 37 - Serapius clavigera   Fig 38 - Ophrys fuscata




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