Plants of
South Australia
Diuris orientis
Wallflower Donkey Orchid
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4.


Diuris from the Greek 'dis' meaning two and 'oura' meaning a tail, referring to the pendulous lateral sepals resembling tails on some species. Orientis from Latin meaning eastern; a reference to the distribution of this species, the only eastern representative of a large complex of otherwise Western Australian donkey orchids.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern South Australia, from the tip of Eyre Peninsula to lower-South-east growing among grass in sclerophyll forest. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Terrestrial orchid to 40 cm high in flower, with 2 or 3 leaves which are linear to lanceolate, to 20 cm long and10 mm wide. Inflorescence one to five yellow flowers heavily suffused with brown and mauve . Dorsal sepal broad-ovate to cuneate, to 13 mm long and 14 mm wide; obliquely erect. Lateral sepals oblanceolate, to 23 mm long and 4 mm wide; deflexed, parallel. Petals divergent, erect or recurved, lamina ovate, to 17 mm long and 12 mm wide; claw 5–7 mm long, greenish brown. Labellum to 14 mm long. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are brown papery ellipsoid capsule.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect plump capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules. Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA62,000 (0.057 g)18-Nov-2010J.Quarmby
Southern Lofty
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.