A small but varied number of entries for our first competition of the year. Andrew Primer entered a lovely picture Thelymitra azurea from Eyre Peninsula; Thelma Bridle entered Calochilus cupreus one of South Australia’s endangered orchids; John Fennell’s close up of Caladenia prolata and Rob Pauley’s mass flowering of Caladenia carnea.
The winner was Rob Pauley’s C. carnea a wide spread orchid which ranges from across the Eyre Peninsula through to the South East as well as occurring in the Eastern States and Tasmania. Although considered common both nationally and at a state level, there are regions within its range where it is considered to be Near Threatened, Rare and even Vulnerable. Also, despite being common, the Seedbank notes that there are areas of probable decline: Fleurieu (KAN02), Mt Lofty Ranges (FLB01), Eyre Mallee (EYB05), Wimmera (MDD05) and Southern Yorke (EYB01). It is a reminder that not only the rarest species but also that common species can be in decline.
The situation is complicated by taxonomic issues; C. carnea is not only a highly variable species but also a complex of several similar species plus many undescribed species which continues to challenge botanists.
http://saseedbank.com.au/species_information.php?rid=815 accessed 8 March 2018
Backhouse, G., et al, (2016) Bush Gems: A Guide to the Wild Orchids of Victoria, Australia, Electronic version.
Bates, R. J., ed. (2011). South Australian Native Orchids. Electronic version. NOSSA