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Australian National Botanic Gardens
Growing, studying and promoting Australian plants

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GPO Box 1777
Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone (02) 6250 9546
Facsimile (02) 62509599
Media enquiries: Paul Ziesing (M) 0418 955 661


Native orchids on display at the Botanic Gardens

Issued 20 Sept 2006

A spectacular collection of rare and common flowering King and Rock Orchids is now on display to the public at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

The orchids are part of a research collection that has been built up over the past 20 years by David Jones and Dr Mark Clements, research scientists at the Centre for Plant Biodiversity research, a joint initiative of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and CSIRO Plant Industry.

By using sophisticated techniques such as electron microscopy and DNA extraction, the research scientists have identified five separate species of King and Rock Orchids. Previously all orchids in this group were classified as varieties of the one species.

The Botanic Gardens orchid collection includes epiphytic and terrestrial orchids from all parts of Australia. Epiphytic orchids do not have roots in the soil and grow on trees and rock outcrops – the Rainforest Gully at the Gardens includes many examples. Terrestrial orchids grow in the ground and are commonly seen in grass and woodland areas in spring. More than sixty species have been recorded in the woodland nature reserve surrounding the Gardens on Black Mountain.

Jones and Clements are two of the joint authors of the CD-ROM information and identification tool Australian Orchid Genera: An Information and Identification System. It has been designed for easy use by professional researchers and amateur enthusiasts, and is published by CSIRO Publishing and the Australian Biological Resources Study.

The system enables users to become familiar with the huge number of new scientific names that have been applied to Australian orchids in recent years. It will be part of a display by CSIRO Plant Industry at Floriade this weekend, from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 September.

For more information:

What: Native orchid display

Where: Display Glasshouse, Australian National Botanic Gardens

When: Monday to Friday, 18 September – 13 October

Saturday 30 September & Sunday 1 October


Media contact: Paul Ziesing
Australian National Botanic Gardens
(02) 6250 9405
0418 955 661