The Species Orchid Society of Western Australia (Inc)

Ron Heberle's Eriochilus



(Woolly Lip) or the Bunny Orchids.

This hardy species is an autumn flowerer regardless of early rain or not. They have been found north to Sharks Bay, East to Mundrabilla/Eucla and from the South West inland to the perimeters of the Eastern and Northern wheat belt. They can flower in thousands, particularly after a summer burn.
There are four species validly named, three currently in manuscript and a further four sub-species. The last seven have had their names prematurely released and published in some Orchid Books bringing them into common use. They have not been validated under the International Code and care must be taken when using them.
E. scaber (rough hairs) or Pink Bunny is quite small but can be super abundant over a wide area.
E. multiflorus (many flowered) is the tallest of the species with many close packed flowers.
E.dilatatus or the White Bunny has its sepals dilated and can have up to ten flowers.
E. tenuis or the Slender Bunny Orchid has a later flowering period and is sparsely distributed throughout the South West..
Some of the, as yet, invalidly named species are shown in this gallery and remarkably one graphically shows a stern mother with her chastised child who is crying its eyes out and another is from the barnyard where a proud rooster and a little hen are depicted.
These species can be easily identified by the thin wiry stems and the small leaves which are present about one third of the way up the stems. Very small native bees pollinate them.

Ron Heberle. April 2003