Drakaea - Hammer Orchids

The hammer orchids are my favourite orchids, especially the Warty Hammer Orchid. Hammer orchids are generally found in sandy soil in clearings in forest areas and around winter wet areas. An exception is the Slender Hammer Orchid, which is sometimes found in mossy ironstone clearings. Drakaea species grow from 10-60cm high on a thin wiry stem with flowers up to 4cm across. They are often difficult to see, as they blend in among the shrubs they grow in. However, hammer orchids often recolonise sandy tracks in the forest and can sometimes be found in very large numbers. They are often found growing with Duck Orchids, which also prefer sandy soils.

The pollination of hammer orchids is amazing. The labellum (the 'hammer') visually approximates a wingless female thynnid wasp and also emits pheromones that attract the male wasp. The male grasps the 'female' and tries to fly away, but the hinged stem of the labellum results in the wasp coming into contact with the column. If all goes well, the sticky pollen bundle adheres to the wasp's back. Should the wasp be fooled by another orchid, pollination will occur. The pollination method appears to be very effective as most hammer orchids will be pollinated each season.

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida - Warty Hammer Orchid

Drakaea livida is one of the more common hammer orchids in the south west. This orchid is my favourite orchid. It is found mainly between Perth and Albany, growing in sandy areas in a variety of habitats such as Jarrah forrest and the margins of swampy areas.


Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis x livida - Hybrid

Drakaea gracilis x livida - Hybrid

Drakaea gracilis x livida - Hybrid

Drakaea gracilis x livida - Hybrid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis - Slender Hammer Orchid

Drakaea gracilis is similar to D. livida, but lacks the warts on the labellum. It also differs in that it is often found in mossy ironstone as well as the usual sandy soil.


Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

Drakaea glyptodon - King-in-his-carriage

The King-in-his-carriage is the most common and widespread of the hammer orchids. Found in sandy ground from north of Jurien Bay to Esperance. It flowers a few weeks later than the Slender and Warty Hammer Orchids, with which it is sometimes found.


Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Larger leaf is D. thynniphila, smaller is D. glyptodon

Larger leaf is D. thynniphila, smaller is D. glyptodon

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphila - Narrow-lipped Hammer Orchid

Drakaea thynniphylla is the tallest of the hammer orchids, reaching more than 60cm in height. Found along the south coast of WA from Busselton to east of Albany.


Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica - Glossy-leafed Hammer Orchid

Drakaea elastica is a rare species only found in a narrow coastal area between Perth and Capel. It is distinguished by its smooth glossy leaf and its labellum, which does not curl back at its tip and is quite hairy at the point. It flowers in October.


Drakaea micratha - Dwarf Hammer Orchid

Drakaea micratha - Dwarf Hammer Orchid

Drakaea micratha - Dwarf Hammer Orchid

Drakaea micratha - Dwarf Hammer Orchid

Drakaea micratha - Dwarf Hammer Orchid

Drakaea micratha - Dwarf Hammer Orchid

Drakaea micratha - Dwarf Hammer Orchid

Drakaea micratha - Dwarf Hammer Orchid

Drakaea micrantha is also a rare species found in scattered colonies between Perth and Albany. It is distinguished by its smaller, more delicate flowers. It flowers a few weeks later than the somewhat similar looking D. thynniphila starting in early October.


Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

Drakaea concolor - Kneeling Hammer Orchid

The Kneeling Hammer Orchid is found between Geraldton and Kalbarri in yellow sandplain. It is listed as threatened flora, however, in good seasons it is locally common. It is often found in association with the Smooth-billed Duck Orchid. Flowering occurs in August.


Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

Drakaea isolata - Lonely Hammer Orchid

The Lonely Hammer Orchid is a rare species known from a single population. It is very similar to the Late Hammer Orchid (Drakaea confluens) and is distinguished from that species by an earlier flowering period and being located much more inland. Flowering occurs in early to mid September.


Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

Drakaea confluens - Late Hammer Orchid

The Late Hammer Orchid is also a rare species known from few locations. It is distinguished by its hairy leaf, and the labellum, which does not turn up at the tip and is usually distinctly two coloured.

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