Spot the Native Orchid!

Date posted: 06 September 2019

South Australia is home to more than 250 species of native orchids. These delicate plants play an important role in our environment and can be a good indication of a healthy native habitat. Approximately 50% of orchids in South Australia are threatened.

Most species of orchids flower during spring, between early September and October, and they usually do so in areas that receive more than 250mm of rainfall a year.

Some species can be commonly found in the Adelaide Hills region, however, there are many species that are very rare. Orchids require very specific requirements to survive.

Seed Conservation Centre

The first flowering of the critically endangered Bayonet Spider-Orchid (Caladenia gladiolata) occurred recently in our nursery!

The critically endangered Bayonet Spider-Orchid (Caladenia gladiolata) has been propagated from seeds collected in South Australia by Dr. Noushka Reiter GBGV. Fifteen plants were transferred to our nursery and we have recently planted nine back into the wild.

Our scientists at the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre will be hand-pollinating and gathering seeds from these with the aim to propagate more later in the year.

The biggest threat to this species is believed to be grazing and drought. One population in the southern Flinders has fallen from a few thousand to a couple of hundred. Other historical populations in South Australia are now presumed extinct.

Spotted at the Botanic Gardens

The Maroonhood Orchid (Pterostylis pedunculata) was recently found in the Mallee section at Adelaide Botanic Garden. This particular orchid is endemic to south-eastern Australia, although it is critically endangered in certain areas of the State.

The Veined Helmet-orchid (Corybus diemenicus) was recently revealed in Fern Gully at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. When a storm blew over an adjacent Acacia, this beauty was uncovered. While it's common in the Mount Lofty area, it is critically endangered in other parts of the State.

Orchid Walks at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

The Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, in conjunction with the Native Orchid Society of South Australia, will be hosting Orchids Walks at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden during October and November.

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden – starting at the Lower Carpark (off Lampert Road)

Time: 11am – 12 noon (approx. one hour)

Dates: Wednesday 2 October, Monday 7 October (Public Holiday), Saturday 2 November

Cost: FREE (No bookings required)

What native orchids can you find during your nature adventures? Check out this identification chart to help you recognise and protect our native orchids:

Being small, orchids can be hard to see, so please stick to the paths so you don’t step on them!

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