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Beautiful endangered orchid on display in Melbourne Gardens

This month, make sure you explore the Australian Forest Walk in Melbourne Gardens. If you look carefully, you will spot our beautiful native Rock Orchid (Thelychiton speciosus) nestled in the fork of a tree along the path.

Worthy of its name “speciosus”, meaning “beautiful”, Rock Orchids don’t flower every year. In fact, it can take up to a decade for these beauties to appear. When they do, they burst into stunning cream flowers, releasing a magnificent fragrance.

Propagation of these native orchids can be difficult, requiring the dedication of our Orchid Conservation Volunteers, Lance Breguet and Neil Anderson. They were thrilled to discover the blooms had appeared during their visit to Melbourne Gardens last week. "We came last year and she didn't bloom, but we got lucky this year!" said Lance Breguet.

"We have collected the pollen ahead of the pollinating process that we will undertake at Cranbourne Gardens in the coming weeks," said Neil Anderson. "We use small toothpicks to gently pollinate each rare orchid by hand."

Many of our native orchids are at risk of extinction. The important work of our Orchid Conservation Program depends entirely on the help of grants, individual donations and volunteers. If you would like to support the work of this vital program, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.


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