Key to the Native Orchids of Western Australia

version April 2024



Ramón Newmann and Andrew Brown for the Western Australian Native Orchid Study and Conservation Group.

The Native Orchids of Western Australia

In Western Australia, orchids are found in two broad areas - the tropical north also known as the Kimberley and the Mediterranean southwest.

Together, these two areas are home to 42 genera and 471 species of orchid, comprising 415 named and 56 currently unnamed species. It is expected this number will rise as ongoing field work and taxonomic studies result in the discovery of additional new orchid species.

In addition to the above there is also one named hybrid genus (× Cyanthera), one named hybrid Elythranthera (E. × intermedia) and 18 named hybrid Caladenia species.

The Key

Key to the Native Orchids of Western Australia is an interactive identification and information package that will help you identify and learn about all the currently known native orchids found in Western Australia (including named hybrids). Hybrids can be accessed separately through the Subsets feature of the Key by clicking on the diamond shaped icon at the top centre of the main Key page (see Lucid Key Toolbar diagram below).

It is designed for flowering plants and works best when they are fresh and observed in the field. It can also be used to identify orchids from Herbarium specimens but may not work as well as it does with fresh specimens in the field. The key is not designed to work with vegetative plants.

The species distributions in the Fact Sheets and in the illustrative maps are based on Herbarium collections and the personal knowledge of the authors, whereas in the interactive identification section of the Key the distributions are based on the Shires where the species could potentially occur.

Key to the Native Orchids of Western Australia has been sponsored by the Western Australian Native Orchid Study and Conservation Group (WANOSCG) and developed by its members.

The key is aimed at both amateur orchid enthusiasts and professional researchers alike. You can use it to:

For help on getting started see How to use Key and for the geographic areas used see WA Shire Maps.

Books and other sources of information on Western Australian orchids used in the key: Information/data contained in the key has come from a variety of sources including:

Photographic credits: Key to the Native Orchids of Western Australia contains some 1700 orchid photographs largely contributed by WANOSCG members, both past and present, through the WANOSCG photographic library. Photographers are individually credited with images in the key and they, along with WANOSCG, retain copyright of these photographs.

Acknowledgements: This project would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the WANOSCG committee and the invaluable contributions of a dedicated team of WANOSCG members and others, including: Paul Armstrong, John Ewing, Martina Fleischer, Varena Hardy, Ray Molloy, Sally Page, Nathan Piesse, Jay Steer, Katie White, and Lisa Wilson; and Lucid Key software support and guidance — the very knowledgable, helpful and patient Matt Taylor as part of the Lucidcentral software team. Finally, we are extremely grateful to the Curator and staff of the Western Australian Herbarium for providing access to orchid specimens, Florabase and the digitised information used to develop distribution maps used in the key.

Disclaimer: This key is designed as an aid to identifying Western Australian native orchids. However, WANOSCG and the authors take no responsibility for the accuracy of results. The key does not replace the advice of professionals in plant identification and the user is solely responsible for the scientific interpretation or any regulatory decision derived from information provided in this tool.

Key help