Treasure hunt for a golden orchid

Landholders and nature lovers across the Southern and Central tablelands are being asked to help in the hunt for the elusive buttercup doubletail orchid this month.

Diuris aequalis - the buttercup doubletail orchid with hover fly

The Saving our Species (SoS) Program is gearing up to look for this golden-flowered endangered plant in forests and woodlands east of Queanbeyan and up towards the Blue Mountains.

Anna Murphy from the SoS team at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) in Queanbeyan said there are thought to be as few as 900 remaining plants left in the world.

"We're really relying on the community to keep an eye out for this plant on their properties, or in bushland and roadside reserves," Ms Murphy said.

"For most of the year the buttercup doubletail is difficult to find because it goes dormant, but come flowering season its golden flowers are hard to miss.

"We're expecting flowers to appear between mid-October to late-November.

"We have had a number of strong tip offs about possible locations where the buttercup doubletail may be found, so we are looking forward to checking for them for ourselves in the coming weeks," Ms Murphy said.

If you're lucky enough to find one, please take a photo and send it to:

The presence of the buttercup doubletail on private land does not necessarily mean landholders are required to make any significant changes in management.

"With permission, we will visit properties and cage individual plants or fence around larger populations to stop them from being browsed by herbivores," Ms Murphy said.

For help identifying the species, visit the Saving our Species website and search 'buttercup doubletail orchid'.