Geodorum densiflorum (a terrestrial orchid) - endangered species listing

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list the terrestrial orchid Geodorum densiflorum (Lam.) Schltr. as an ENDANGERED SPECIES on Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act. Listing of endangered species is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Geodorum densiflorum (Lam.) Schltr. (ORCHIDACEAE), is a terrestrial herb, dormant during winter, with pseudobulbs buried or half buried, depressed globose. Leaves 3-5; petiole 2-8 cm long; lamina ovate to lanceolate, 15-35 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, with 3 prominent ribs and 4 less prominent longitudinal veins. Inflorescence 15-30 cm long, 8-20-flowered; peduncle basally erect but recurved through 180 degrees just below the rachis, straightening in fruit; pedicel plus ovary 5-10 mm long. Flowers not widely opening. Sepals and lateral petals 11-18 mm long, 2.5-5 mm wide, white to deep pink. Labellum 10-15 mm long, 6-8 mm wide, pink with red to purple veins. Flowers Dec.-Jan. Synonyms are G. pictum (R. Br.) Lindl., and G. neocaledonicum Kraenz. (Weston in Harden, 1993, Flora of NSW Vol. 4, University of NSW Press).

2. Geodorum densiflorum grows in dry sclerophyll forest, often on coastal sand, at lower altitudes, north from the Macleay River on the north coast of NSW (Weston in Harden, 1993). G. densiflorum is a widespread species in Queensland, the Northern Territory and overseas (P. Weston pers. comm.). Bishop (1996, Field Guide to the Orchids of New South Wales and Victoria. University of NSW Press) refers to this taxon as Geodorum neocaledonicum (Pink Nodding Orchid) growing in open eucalypt forest and heathland, favouring sandy soils, often on grassy hillsides in loose colonies.

3. There are thought to be fewer than 10 populations of Geodorum densiflorum in NSW. The largest known population has been estimated to have about 200 plants, with other populations thought to be smaller in plant numbers. One population is reserved in Cudgen Nature Reserve, and one has been recorded from Bundjalung National Park, but the status of the Bundjalung population is unknown.

4. Geodorum densiflorum is threatened by urban development, and weeds such as bitou bush. Trampling is also a threat to this species as one population is situated beside a walking track and another population is at a site frequented by picnickers and fisherfolk.

5. In view of 3, and 4 above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Geodorum densiflorum is likely to become extinct in nature unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate.

Proposed Gazettal date: 13/07/01
Exhibition period: 13/07/01 - 17/08/01