You are here

Home > About > News and media releases > Spider Orchids return to Castlemaine


Spider Orchids return to Castlemaine

Friday 5 October, 2012

The Castlemaine Spider Orchid is once again blooming this spring in the Castlemaine area, thanks to the combined efforts of two Victorian Government agencies and local community groups. This threatened orchid is about 25cm tall, and produces one or two deep red flowers on a yellow-green, hairy stalk. It can be found flowering in September to October in Box Ironbark forest, mostly amongst Stringy Bark and Box trees.

After many years of attempting to grow this species at the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Horsham Orchid propagation facility, there was finally success, when its seedlings were germinated at the Horsham facility by Dr Noushka Reiter last year.

In June this year the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Parks Victoria and some enthusiastic local community members, reintroduced 60 seedlings of this rare Spider Orchid back into two parks in the Castlemaine area.

DSE Biodiversity Officer Julie Whitfield said, “This was the first ever reintroduction of this species and it’s hoped that it will be the first of many more to come”.

“The aim is to establish new populations of the Castlemaine Spider Orchid in many different sites around the district to increase the number of them growing in the wild,” Ms Whitfield said.

This project was funded by the North Central Catchment Management Authority and the on ground preparation was done by Parks Victoria and local community groups.

Parks Victoria Ranger Noel Muller says a lot of work has gone into bringing the orchids back to the area. “Protective fencing has been put around all the new plantings to keep grazing animals out and that’s already showing results as the orchid plants are looking really good.”

The Castlemaine Spider Orchid project is part of the DSE Threatened Orchid recovery program for the North West Region, which includes the management and reintroduction of numerous threatened orchids for the Central Goldfields area.  

The Victorian Government has a responsibility under the Wildlife Act 1975 and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 to protect threatened species. These animals and plants contribute significantly to the biodiversity of their ecosystems. The knowledge acquired about these species helps to then take the on-ground steps needed to ensure their survival.

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Special Olympics National Games

20 Oct 2014 4:00pm - 24 Oct 2014 5:00pm

The 10 Special Olympics National Games (SONG) is the flagship event for Special Olympics Australia and will be held in Melbourne from October 20 to 24 predominantly at venues at Albert Park. It provides an opportunity for athletes with intellectual disabilities from around Australia in ages ranging from 9 through…

Click to view RSS Feed

Ranger Guided Bird Walk - Coolart Wetlands and Homestead

23 Oct 2014 10:00am-12:00pm

Join a Parks Victoria ranger on a free guided bird watching walk to celebrate Bird Week 2014. Coolart Wetlands and Homestead has a mix of heritage gardens, native bushland, coastal scrub and wetlands which create a perfect bird watching space. With a mix of bird hides and heritage buildings to…

Click to view RSS Feed

Ranger Guided Bird Walk - Serendip Sanctuary

23 Oct 2014 10:00am-11:00am

To celebrate Bird Week 2014, join a Parks Victoria ranger on a free guided tour through Serendip Sanctuary. Serendip is well known for its stunning bird life and has a variety of wetland, grassland and woodland habitats which help attract over 150 known bird species. The park also has bird…

Click to view RSS Feed

Alpine Forest Walks, Dinner Plain

24 Oct 2014 11:00am-3:00pm

Omeo District Health, DEPI and Parks Victoria Invites you to come walk with us. Montane Loop, Room with a View and Carmichael Falls. Walks are formed tracks that include short steep sections some uneven terrain and occasional steps. No wheelchair access available. The walks include boardwalks and viewing platforms. There…