We have one of the world’s rarest critically endangered species of orchid – the Wingham Donkey Orchid (Diuris flavescens) secretly surviving around our district.
Botanist Andrew Paget of Wildwood Flora in Upper Lansdowne is its passionate protector, along with several local authorities and Greater Taree City Council.
There are three known sites, one on private land which is fenced off, but keeping the orchids from being smothered by weeks and growth is an endless problem.
Andrew, who monitors the orchids, says the population has grown from 31 plants 10 years ago to 880 plants but they are still critically endangered. Threats include cattle, wildlife, climate change, weeds and orchid collectors!
There are other gems in our area including an orchid that’s one of the rarest in the world, but there are only six plants tucked away somewhere in Old Bar.
And if you want to be the re-discoverer of a rare grevillea a little climbing might be in order. The unidentified grevillea was spotted in 1904 by an amateur botanist which he took home but was exhibited at a Sydney herbarium conference. No one in Australia seems aware of this tree.
Andrew, however, thinks he since spotted it growing beside the cliff face of Ellenborough Falls.