Terrestrial Orchid Collection

Please note that the bulk of this Collection is housed in the Melbourne Gardens Nursery for safety reasons and to guarantee the right growing conditions. The Nursery is not accessible to the public.

The Orchidaceae family includes some of the most beautiful and amazing plants on this planet. Some are very common and well known, some have found themselves on the verge of extinction and some have very complex and sophisticated relationships with insects and fungi. Some species of orchids are among the rarest plants on Earth. Numerous species are disappearing fast. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria has been actively involved in propagating and re-introducing some of the most vulnerable of those plants. Our collection was established in 1979. In 1985 it was further expanded and supplemented by collecting more orchids for research purposes. Seeds obtained from the collection are used in further propagation.

This collection is important as it:

  • Supports the increase in awareness of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria's conservation efforts.
  • Educates the public about this unusual plant and their relationships with symbiotic fungi and other organisms.
  • Showcase Orchid's intricate and sophisticated morphology and adaptations.

Key Plants

Caladenia venusta

White Spider Orchid

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Caladenia robinsonii

Frankston Spider Orchid

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Diuris fragrantissima

Sunshine Diuris

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Pterostylis basaltica

Basalt Rustyhood

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<em>Caladenia venusta</em>

White Spider Orchid

This orchid is know to grow in the woodlands west of Port Phillip Bay, and also in the Grampians. This orchid is now extremely rare.

Notes from the Curator

Most of the Victorian species of terrestrial orchids can be grown in Melbourne. However, it is probably best to keep them in pots and under cover so that the correct watering regime can be implemented. Most of these orchids are prone to rotting if not watered and cared for properly.