Nature conservation

Threatened species

Jervis Bay Leek 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: Prasophyllum affine
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Profile last updated: 17 Aug 2018


The Jervis Bay Leek Orchid is a ground orchid which produces a single onion-like leaf that can grow to 40 cm long. Flowers are produced on a cylindrical stalk that emerges from about two thirds of the way up the hollow leaf. Up to 35 flowers are clustered in a spike arranged along the top third of each flower stalk.  Each flower is about 9 mm across and flower colour varies between plants; including light green, yellow, red-brown and purple. The Kinghorne Point population is dominated by plants with the red-brown and purple coloured flowers. Most orchid experts consider references to Victorian populations of this species to be incorrect and attributable to other species.


Jervis Bay Leek Orchid is currently known from three areas south-east of Nowra on South Coast. These are Kinghorne Point, Wowly Gully near the town of Callala Bay, and near the township of Vincentia.

Habitat and ecology

  • Grows on poorly drained grey clay soils that support low heathland and sedgeland communities.
  • The underground dormant tubers commence shooting in mid winter and leaves are known to have emerged above ground by June.
  • The flowering period reliably commences in the first week of November and extends for about 3 weeks.
  • Pollination is primarily by specialised wasp species. The primary pollinator is the male of one species and they are attracted to the orchid flowers by a scent of the flower that mimics that of the female wasp.
  • The fruit (small green ovoid capsules) develop rapidly following flowering and eventually split to release fine dust-like seeds. Each capsule contains thousands of seeds that are primarily wind dispersed.
  • By January the leaves and fruiting stems have withered and the plants then persist as underground tubers until they resprout the following winter.

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
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted Within 5 km of coast
Sydney BasinJervis Known Within 5 km of coast