Nature conservation

Threatened species

Cymbidium canaliculatum population in the Hunter Catchment - 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: Cymbidium canaliculatum - endangered population
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Population
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 13 Apr 2006
Profile last updated: 24 Jul 2019

Description

An epiphytic orchid (with sympodial growth) which grows in the hollows and forks of eucalypts and wattles, usually occurring singly or as a single clump, typically between two and six metres above the ground. Grey-green pseudobulbs are present and conspicuous. Leaves (up to 6 per stem) are linear, 10–50 cm long and 1.5–4 cm wide, succulent, though rigid or tough. They are deeply V-shaped (channelled) in cross section, are not shiny, pale-green to grey-green in colour, and often with a sharp tip. Inflorescence is 15–58 cm long and 12–60-flowered, arising basally and typically sub-erect to pendent. The fragrant flowers are very variable in colour, the labellum is white to cream with red or purple markings, and the sepals and lateral petals are usually olive green mottled with purple in N.S.W. specimens. However various combinations of green, yellow, brown and purple are also known. The flowers are approximately 30 mm across, with the labellum being 3-lobed. Fruit is a capsule which contains many minute seeds.

Distribution

This large epiphytic orchid has a scattered distribution across northern and eastern Australia, extending from Hunter River in NSW to Cape York and across northern NT and Queensland to the Kimberley region in WA.

 

In NSW the species is restricted to the north-eastern quarter of the State, occurring chiefly in inland districts west to New Angledool and Walgett on the north western plains and north of the Hunter River, through the north western slopes, northern tablelands and north coast into south-eastern Queensland.

 

A disjunct population of fewer than 500 individuals though estimated to be as low as 90, which occurs in the Hunter Valley at the south-eastern distributional limit of the species' range.

 

The Hunter population is known to occur naturally as far south as Weston and Pokolbin in the Lower Hunter, which represents its south-eastern geographic limit, but appears to be more centred in the Upper Hunter, predominantly north of Singleton. In this area it is chiefly known from an area bounded by Ravensworth, Muswellbrook, Denman and Sandy Hollow, but extends northwards to the AberdeenScone – Wingen districts. Isolated occurrences are also known from the Merriwa plateau, Bylong valley and the Gungal area near Goulburn River (including the Goulburn River National Park).

 

Nevertheless, the population is defined as occurring in the Hunter Catchment, and as such may be present in any of the local government areas of Cessnock, Maitland, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, part of Mid-western Regional, and part of Upper Hunter. The vast majority of individuals (>90%) occur on private property, scattered across 30-40 sites, predominantly in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter LGAs.

 

The ‘Hunter Catchment’ is defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997).

 

In the Hunter Catchment Cymbidium canaliculatum is known to occur within Wollemi and Goulburn River National Parks. A ‘cymbidium’ orchid has also been recorded in Cameron’s Gorge Nature Reserve, north-east of Scone. This is within known occurrences of the species.

Habitat and ecology

  • Typically grows in the hollows, fissures, trunks and forks of trees in dry sclerophyll forest or woodland, where its host trees typically occur on Permian Sediments of the Hunter Valley floor. It usually occurs singly or as a single clump, which can form large colonies on trees, between two and six metres from the ground.
  • Recruitment, germination and persistence is reliant on rotting wood and mycorrhizal fungal associations.
  • Within the Hunter Catchment, Cymbidium canaliculatum is most commonly found in Eucalyptus albens (White Box) dominated woodlands (including those dominated by the intergrade E. albens-moluccana), much of which may constitute the endangered ecological community (EEC) ‘White Box Yellow Box Blakely's Red Gum Woodland’. It has been found, less commonly, to grow on E. dawsonii (Slaty Box), E. crebra (Narrow-leaved Ironbark), E. moluccana (Grey Box), Angophora floribunda (Rough-barked Apple), Acacia salicina (Cooba) and on some other species, including dead stags. It is also known to use man-made structures, such as fence posts and wooden bridges as its host.
  • Cymbidium canaliculatum flowers from 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

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Known Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Known Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)
NSW North CoastEllerston Known Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)
NSW North CoastTomalla Known Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Predicted Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)
Sydney BasinHunter Known Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)
Sydney BasinWollemi Predicted Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Predicted Hunter catchment as defined by Australia's River Basins (Geoscience Australia 1997)