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New South Wales

Securing rare orchids requires specialist knowledge (Photo: K. Sommerville)
Securing rare orchids, such as this Diuris callitrophila, requires specialist knowledge (Photo: K. Sommerville)

The future of NSW’s beautiful terrestrial orchids is being secured. Seed from Diuris callitrophila, an endangered terrestrial orchid known only from the Oaklands-Urana region in southern NSW, has been collected and safely stored in the NSW Seed Bank. To germinate in the wild, orchid seeds need a fungus that lives on the plant, while providing nutrients in return. Collectors therefore take soil samples from the base of the orchid while taking seed pods, and later germinate a few seeds in that soil. This collection will be reintroduced to wild populations with low numbers and used to introduce the species to suitable new sites.