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Research into Australian Native Orchids

The Australian Plants Society – Parramatta/Hills Branch proudly presents guest speaker Jessica Wait at our February meeting, on the subject of Research into Australian Native Orchids.

Jess is a Technical Research Officer at the Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan, working on the Orchid Research Project.

Australia’s native orchids are over-represented on threatened species lists and face many challenges for their continued survival in the wild. A good safeguard would be to propagate seeds ex-situ so individuals can be translocated back into the wild to either boost populations or re-establish populations in more secure areas.

Research into Australian Native Orchids

Orchids, however, are notoriously difficult to grow from seed due to their reliance on mycorrhizal partnerships and an overall lack of information on what horticultural requirements they need to be successfully grown into mature plants. With SOS funding in place, this project aims to propagate a number of Critically Endangered and Endangered orchids from wild seed collections.

The process includes the isolation and culturing of mycorrhizal fungi from plant tissue, symbiotic and asymbiotic seed germination trials, and research into what conditions individual orchid seedlings need to grow, survive the first dormancy and ultimately be translocated back into the wild.

Pictured is Jessica Wait in the field, and orchid Calochillus pulchellus.

Research into Australian Native Orchids by guest speaker Jessica Wait. On Saturday 24 February, 2024, 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Australian Plants Society – Parramatta/Hills Branch, Gumnut Hall, Gumnut Place, Cherrybrook 2126.

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