Nature conservation

Threatened species

Eastern Australian Underground Orchid - profile

Indicative distribution


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Key:
known
predicted
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Rhizanthella slateri
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Gazetted date: 06 Dec 2002
Profile last updated: 20 Apr 2016

Description

An orchid with a whitish, fleshy underground stem to 15 cm long and 15 mm diameter. The flowering heads mature below the soil surface or may extend to 2 cm above the ground. Each flower head has up to 30, tubular, purplish flowers.

Distribution

Occurs from south-east Queensland to south-east NSW. In NSW, currently known from fewer than 10 locations, including near Bulahdelah, the Watagan Mountains, the Blue Mountains, Wiseman's Ferry area, Agnes Banks and near Nowra.

Habitat and ecology

  • Habitat requirements are poorly understood and no particular vegetation type has been associated with the species, although it is known to occur in sclerophyll forest.
  • Highly cryptic given that it grows almost completely below the soil surface, with flowers being the only part of the plant that can occur above ground. Therefore usually located only when the soil is disturbed.
  • Flowers September to November.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Threats

Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

CMA CMA sub-region Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Hawkesbury-NepeanWollemi Known None
Hawkesbury-NepeanYengo Known None
Hunter-Central RiversKaruah Manning Known None
Southern RiversJervis Known None