More Orchids

Three decades of research culminates in more unique orchid species: Researchers have spent 30 years searching the rugged Kimberley region of Western Australia for orchids, with their work finally culminating in a paper published in Telopea. They used helicopters, 4WDs and quad bikes to traverse through remote territory, so far locating three tree orchids and 17 ground orchids.

Australian Institute of Botanical Science researcher Dr. Russell Barrett said with the Kimberley having a strong seasonal climate, including a nine-month dry season, it was easy to think there was little habitat available for orchids. “Finding orchids in such a remote region can be a slow process, and this research has taken 30 years to reach publication,” he said. “Many people have assisted with the search over the decades, particularly Kimberley locals Robin and Butch Maher, both with a keen eye for potential habitats, and crucially, a helicopter at hand.

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