In situ symbiotic seed germination and propagation of terrestrial orchid seedlings for establishment at field sites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The establishment of five species of temperate terrestrial orchids (Caladenia arenicola Hopper & A. P. Brown, Diuris magnifica D. L. Jones, D. micrantha D. L. Jones, Pterostylis sanginea D.L Jones & M. A. Clem. and Thelymitra manginiorum ms) in natural habitat through in situ seed sowing, or by planting of seedlings and dormant tubers, was evaluated. Seed of the Western Australian temperate terrestrial taxa, Caladenia arenicola and Pterostylis sanguinea germinated best when sown into soil inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi at field sites but failed to develop the tubers necessary for surviving summer dormancy. However, seedling survival improved when actively growing symbiotic seedlings were transferred to natural habitat during the growing season. Caladenia arenicola and P. sanguinea seedlings survived the initial transfer to field sites but only P. sanguinea survived into the second growing season. Highest survival was obtained by translocating dormant tubers of C. arenicola and Diuris magnifica, with D. magnifica persisting at the site 5 years after translocation. However, outplanted C. arenicola survived for only 2 years. In another trial, where seedlings and dormant tubers of a rare orchid Thelymitra manginiorum were translocated into eucalypt woodland, 18% persisted after 5 years. The rare orchid D. micrantha exhibited the highest survival rates, with greater than 80% of tubers surviving 5 years after transfer of mature dormant tubers to field sites. This study highlights the benefit of using optimised methods for seedling production by symbiotic germination and nursery growth to produce advanced seedlings or dormant tubers to maximise the survival of translocated plants. It also demonstrates the need to consider different strategies when dealing with individual species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-381
JournalAustralian Journal of Botany
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'In situ symbiotic seed germination and propagation of terrestrial orchid seedlings for establishment at field sites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this