An unexpected find in the dunes of Discovery Bay: The critically endangered Coastal Leek Orchid
Back in December, when I was taking a look at Long Swamp, in Discovery Bay Coastal Park, I came across something that you don’t see too often: a beautiful, fleshy leek orchid in the middle of a sandy track in the dunes. Despite being a bit chewed and bent over, it looked very interesting, so I took a couple of photos.
The next step was to send the photos to local Parks Victoria ranger, orchid expert and all-round nice bloke David Pitts, who got back to me a short time later and confirmed that this is a really important and highly restricted species – the Coastal Leek Orchid (Prasophyllum litorale). It also turns out that the species was only recently recognised as being critically endangered at the national level under the EPBC Act 1999. If you would like to learn more about this species, then please take a look at the listing information on the federal environment department’s website.
If you are lucky enough to come across this species anywhere in Discovery Bay (either in SA or Victoria), please take a photo and either email us so that we can have its identification confirmed, or contact the relevant state herbarium. But, please remember to leave the plant in place without picking it so that it can flower and set seed. How exciting to find such a rare orchid near one of our first major wetland restoration projects!