13/5/2017 Beautiful autumn day so Deb and I headed out to go to the Rotary Lookout, however we took a gravel track, called McCarthy Street, to the left which took us between the Water Authority tanks to an area above the Esperance Port. We walked all around the big granite outcrop with only spent Bunny orchids to be found, however I spied one in flower White Bunny Orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus sp. dilatatus) on the drive in, so walked back to grab a snap. Found 2 others in close proximity. One of these may be a Granite Bunny orchid (Eriochilus pulchellus) as it has 8 flowers but they are not very colourful.
We then ventured south over the main Lovers Beach track. This small track is very steep and only one orchid found, so we venture back to the main track down to Lovers Beach. The small orchid appears to be a Granite Bunny orchid (Eriochilus pulchellus) Back on the main track Deb locates one specimen at least 350mm tall, with 5 flowers, a great White Bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus sp. dilatatus) specimen.
Aerial map of Rotary Lookout and Lovers Beach
On a granite outcrop south of the track under a bush I found the smallest flower on a Bunny Orchid I have ever seen.
Then I came across the best specimen yet of Granite Bunny Orchid (Eriochilus pulchellus). The location and colouring of the flower I think confirms my classification. Woohoo the 2nd species of Bunny Orchid found this season. This orchid is found in April and May between Esperance and Balladonia. Also found in an area between Northcliffe and Bremer Bay.
Other varied specimens were found then Deb comes across a little Bunny Orchid, 40mm if that, growing in the moss on the granite rock. I laid down on my belly to grab some shots and low and behold we have found our 3rd variety…. Crinkle-leafed bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus sp. undulatus). Great find Deb. This orchid is found in April and May also, however ranges over a vast area from Northampton to east of Esperance and as far inland as Queen Victoria Rocks.
We then made our way down to the granite rock immediately above Lovers Beach for some awesome water views and on the way back spied a not so colourful version of a Bunny Orchid.
So the day was quite successful in that we found 3 varieties of “White Bunny orchids” and enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful views Esperance is renowned for.