Community help needed

In mid-April, The Islander reported the Kangaroo Island Flora and Fauna Club Inc. Orchid Group is attempting to map the island’s native orchid populations.

As there are only a few in the group, it is particularly difficult to cover the nearly 5000 square kilometres, and the group is now calling for community help with our project.

If you are a landowner, the group would welcome an invitation to look over your property for native orchids.

Currently most of the areas being targeted are on roadsides, parks and reserves, with some private properties where access has been granted. The group is seeking access to more private properties with remnant native vegetation.

They ask that if you walk in the bush near your home or on remnant bush on roadsides, and parks and reserves, to keep your eyes peeled for any orchids.

The orchids that are in flower between May and August vary in size from two to five centimetres (one to six inches) tall.

The information gathered will be passed on to the South Australian State Herbarium and the owners of any properties named.

As a guide, over the next few months Acianthus two species, (May Fly and Mosquito), Pterostylis six species of Green Hoods, Corybas five species Helmet, Cyrtostylis two species, of Gnat orchid will be flowering.

In most cases the leaves of these are already visible.

Be aware that native orchids are a protected species and may not be picked.

The Orchid Group has permits to collect them, but they only collect if the population is viable.

Then formal collections are submitted to the SA Herbarium for confirmation of field identification and to be retained by them for future research. 

To see what these species look like, you can view books at the library,  such as “Start with the Leaves”, “Orchids of South Australia”, “It’s Blue with Five Petals” and “Discover Kangaroo Island’s Native Plants”.

There is also information available on the internet. For further information contact Beverley Overton 8553 2374 deanandbev@, Rob Potter 8553 7137,, Gillian Lock 8559 6010.

(Footnote: Three members of the Orchid Group went on an orchid hunt to a conservation park on the Dudley Peninsula and found three greenhood and one mayfly species in flower with lots of leaf of other orchids.)

Acianthus pusillus (10-15 cm).

Acianthus pusillus (10-15 cm).

Pterostylis sanguineau (15 cm)

Pterostylis sanguineau (15 cm)

Corybas diemenicus (2-5 cm).

Corybas diemenicus (2-5 cm).