Developing and improving propagation methods for terrestrial orchids

Critical to any orchid reintroduction project is being able to grow the orchid in cultivation. With our partner organisations the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria undertake hand pollinations of remaining wild populations for seed, then culture the specific mycorrizal fungi required for each species and germinate our orchids symbiotically in our laboratory. Many of the endangered orchid species that we work on have never been grown in cultivation before and success relies on learning from both successes and failures to improve the methods that we use.

Species we are currently propagating


  • Charming Spider-orchid (Caladenia amoena)

  • Audas Spider-orchid (Caladenia audasii)

  • Limestone Spider-orchid (Caladenia calcicola)

  • Coloured Spider-orchid (Caladenia colorata)

  • Dons Spider-orchid (Caladenia cremna)

  • Tawny Spider-orchid (Caladenia fulva)

  • Elegant Spider-orchid (Caladenia formosa)

  • Melblom’s Spider-Orchid (Caladenia hastata)

  • French Island Spider-orchid (Caladenia insularis)

  • Wimmera Spider-orchid (Caladenia lowanensis)

  • Angahook pink fingers (Caladenia maritima)

  • Dwarf Spider-orchid (Caladenia pumila)

  • Frankston Spider-orchid (Caladenia robinsonii)

  • Little Pink Spider-orchid (Caladenia rosella)

  • Candy Spider-orchid (Caladenia versicolor)

  • Yellow-lip Spider-orchid (Caladenia xanthochila)

  • Bendigo Spider-orchid (Caladenia sp. aff. fragrantissima)

  • Kilsyth South Spider-orchid  (Caladenia sp. aff. venusta)

  • Small Golden Moths Orchid (Diuris basaltica

  • Sunshine Diuris (Diuris fragrantissima)

  • Shelford Leek-orchid (Prasophyllum fosterii)

  • Maroon Leek-orchid (Prasophyllum frenchii)

  • Gaping Leek-orchid (Prasophyllum correctum)

  • Dense Leek-orchid (Prasophyllum spicatum)

  • Basalt Rusty-hood (Pterostylis basaltica)

  • Robust Greenhood (Pterostylis valida)
  • Metallic Sun-orchid (Thelymitra epipactoides)

  • Brilliant Sun-orchid (Thelymitra mackibbinii)

New South Wales

  • Sandhill Spider-orchid (Caladenia arenaria)
  • Crimson Spider-orchid (Caladenia concolor)
  • Oaklands Diuris (Diuris callitrophila)
  • Variable Midge-orchid (Genoplesium insigne)
  • Wyong Sun-orchid (Thelymitra adorata)

South Australia

  • White Beauty Spider-orchid (Caladenia argocalla)
  • Bayonet Spider-orchid (Caladenia gladiolata)
  • Denzel’s Leek-orchid (Prasophyllum murfettii)
  • Blue Top Sun-orchid (Thelymitra cyanapicata)

Western Australia

  • Queen of Sheba (Thelymitra variegata)

Project team

  • Dr. Noushka Reiter (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)
  • Richard Dimon (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)
  • Chris Jenek (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)
  • Students: Marc Freestone (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)
  • Volunteers: Ms Eve Almond, Assoc. Prof. Charles Young, Prof. Peter Wallace, Mr Mike Wicks, Mrs Lynda Entwisle, Mr Neil Freestone, Mr Bryan Lawrence and Mr Neil Anderton (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)


  • Adelaide Botanic Gardens
  • Alcoa/Portland Aluminium
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (East Gippsland)
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Loddon Mallee)
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Barwon South West)
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Port Phillip)
  • Parks Victoria
  • Murray Local Landcare Services
  • Trust for Nature
  • Native Orchid Society of South Australia
  • NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (Saving our Species Program)
  • Wimmera Catchment Management Authority