The forest here never ceases to surprise me with the apparently infinite number of plants or fungi that I have never seen before.
This tall orchid has appeared right beside the grey gum which is right beside the outdoor loo. I walk past here daily — did I miss it yesterday or has it come overnight, encouraged by the damp weather?
It is a total stranger to me — and there is a whole little family of them shooting up through the fallen leaves and bark. At first glance, the shorter ones, unopened, looked like they could be fungi.
My orchid book says it is a Potato Orchid, and I can see why, for the knobbly brown buds. But the opened flowers are prettier than potatoes — their shyly flared frills are fresh and white against the café au lait of their bells. (There is another orchid with the same common name and it looks nothing at all like a potato!)
The botanical name is Gastrodia sesamoides — meaning like sesame seeds — but how? If they are going to name the flower for the bud I’d say peanut rather than either potato or sesame.
I simply cannot call it a Potato Orchid.