|Graveside Leek Orchid|
This orchid had not been seen since 2001 when 3 plants were known. It was described by Jones in 2004 as a new Prasophyllum species. So you can sense our excitement as we looked around the only known site where these orchids grow. As usual when we were starting to move back to the gate and leave, Mischa noticed the first plant. We starting taking photos when I looked around an there was another plant looking back at me. More photos!
As we left we were very happy. Four days later when we were passing the site again we thought a few more photos would not hurt. As we pulled up across the road we saw that the area the orchid grew in had been slashed. It was not the entire reserve area just part of it, but it was the area the orchid grew in. We could not believe it.
We emailed a Tasmanian Orchid expert to confirm our find and note that the area had been slashed - he knew all about it as he had been told to go and photograph it himself and was there the day after only to find slashed ground and a search of all the reserve found no other orchids.
It has been mooted that the reason for not seeing the orchid in previous years may be due to the ad hoc nature of the slashing program. No doubt this will be controlled in the future.