The Silky Blue Orchid represents the blue in my WA Rainbow series. It is a native of Western Australia and grows from Perth to Esperance. It’s labellum (lip) reminded me of the iconic Mick Jagger tongue, enhanced (?) with piercings!
This orchid is a perennial that grows to about 40cm tall, flowers in our spring and has a single silky leaf – hence its name. It usually grows as scattered, individual plants and like many other wildflowers around here does well on gravel.
The ‘tongue’ forms a similar function as Mick Jagger’s – it attracts attention! In this case it attracts potential pollinators and the ‘piercings’ are actually dark blue ‘calli’ (small knobs) that act as a guidance system for them. My coloured pencil painting gives you a closer look.
You can see many species of orchids in Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia. Do visit Kings Park if you ever have the chance. It has an excellent botanical garden, many other attractions and fantastic views of the city and the Swan River.