Diuris - Donkey Orchids

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The donkey orchids are one of the most well known type of orchids in WA due to their distinctive, bright yellow flowers.  As a group, they are common and widespread over the entire south west in a great variety of habitats.  They can be found in many areas of remnant bushland in the Perth metropolitan area.  There are about 30 named species in WA.  The first donkey orchids flower in late June (D. brumalis) with the last flowering into December and January along the south coast.

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Diuris brumalis
Winter Donkey Orchid

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Diuris brumalis
Winter Donkey Orchid

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Diuris brumalis
Winter Donkey Orchid

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Diuris brumalis
Winter Donkey Orchid

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Diuris brumalis
Winter Donkey Orchid

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Diuris brumalis
Winter Donkey Orchid
Showing whole plants

The Winter Donkey Orchid is the first Diuris to flower each year, starting in late June. It is common in the hills above Perth.

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Diuris longifolia
Purple Pansy Orchid

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Diuris longifolia
Purple Pansy Orchid

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Diuris longifolia
Purple Pansy Orchid

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Diuris longifolia
Purple Pansy Orchid

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Diuris longifolia
Purple Pansy Orchid

The Purple Pansy Orchid is much the same in shape and size as the Winter Donkey Orchid but is much more colourful with varying amounts of purple.  It is found between Perth and Albany.

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Diuris magnifica
Pansy Orchid

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Diuris magnifica
Pansy Orchid

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Diuris magnifica
Pansy Orchid

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Diuris magnifica
Pansy Orchid

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Diuris magnifica
Pansy Orchid

This orchid is similar to the Purple Pansy but has larger flowers with less purple colouring and much taller plants.  It is common in remnant bushland in Perth.

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Diuris laxiflora
Bee Orchid

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Diuris laxiflora
Bee Orchid

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Diuris laxiflora
Bee Orchid

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Diuris aff laxiflora
Canningvale Bee Orchid

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Diuris aff laxiflora
Canningvale Bee Orchid

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Diuris laxiflora
  Bee Orchid

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Diuris laxiflora
Bee Orchid

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Diuris laxiflora
Bee Orchid

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Diuris laxiflora
Bee Orchid

The Bee Orchid is common throughout the Darling Range and western wheatbelt.  It is a small orchid, about half the size of the Common Donkey Orchid and is usually found in swampy areas.

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Diuris drummondii
Tall Donkey Orchid

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Diuris drummondii
Tall Donkey Orchid

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Diuris drummondii
Tall Donkey Orchid

The Tall Donkey Orchid usually only flowers after a summer burn.  Plants are very tall (hence the name), reaching up to 70cm.  It is a rare species, found in scattered populations between Perth and Albany.


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Diuris setacea
Bristly Donkey Orchid

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Diuris setacea
Bristly Donkey Orchid

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Diuris setacea
Bristly Donkey Orchid

The distinguishing feature of this species is the multiple, thin, spiral leaves.  It prefers gravelly soils and is seen at its best after a summer burn.  It is widespread from Kalbarri to east of Albany and out to the central wheatbelt.

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Diuris corymbosa
Common Donkey Orchid

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Diuris corymbosa
Common Donkey Orchid

Very similar to the Winter Donkey Orchid, this species is identified by its large, yellow flowers and straight lateral sepals.  It flowers several weeks after the Winter Donkey Orchid, starting in August. It is found mainly along the foot hills of the Darling Range.

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Diuris recurva
Mini Donkey Orchid

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Diuris recurva
Mini Donkey Orchid
Showing the recurved lower sepals

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Diuris recurva
Mini Donkey Orchid
Showing entire plant

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Diuris recurva
Mini Donkey Orchid
Showing habitat

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Diuris recurva
Mini Donkey Orchid

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Diuris recurva
Mini Donkey Orchid

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Diuris recurva
Mini Donkey Orchid
Showing how tiny this orchid is!

The Mini Donkey Orchid is distinguished by its very small flowers and the strongly recurved sepals. It is found between Perth and Kalbarri.


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