Nature conservation

Threatened species

Red Helmet Orchid - profile

Indicative distribution

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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: Corybas dowlingii
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 09 Nov 2007
Profile last updated: 24 Jul 2019


Red Helmet Orchid is a tuberous orchid species which grows in clonal colonies. The orchid has a solitary dark green heart-shaped to circular leaf 15-35 mm long and 15-35 mm wide ending in a sharp point. The solitary, erect flower grows close to the ground and is dark purplish red with whitish areas in the labellum. Flowering occurs from June to August, however, peak flowering at the main population at Soldiers Point occurs in the first two-three weeks of June. 


Corybas dowlingii is restricted to the central coast and Hunter regions of New South Wales where it is currently known from the Port Stephens, Bulahdelah, Lake Macquarie and Freemans Waterhole areas. It is known from the local government areas of Cessnock, Great Lakes, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens.

Habitat and ecology

  • Sheltered areas such as gullies and southerly slopes in tall open forest on well-drained gravelly soil at elevations of 10-200 m
  • Pollinated by flies
  • Flowering occurs from June to August

Regional distribution and habitat

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


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Predicted Columbey National Park and east of the Park
Sydney BasinHunter Known East of Morpeth
Sydney BasinWyong Known None