Prasophyllum from the Greek 'prason' meaning a leek and 'phyllon' meaning a leaf, referring to the leek-like orchid leaf. Calcicola from the Latin 'calx' meaning lime and 'colo' meaning to inhabit, referring to the coastal calcareous habitat of the species.
Distribution and status
Found along the coast on Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island in South Australia, growing on calcareous soils or in shallow soil pockets on sheet limestone under mall and shrub. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
NRM region: Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Diminutive terrestrial orchid to 10 cm high, slender but rigidly erect with leaf almost filiform, base red or maroon. Inflorescence a loose spike with few to 20 wholly green or green with red edges flowers, standing well out from the red spike. Sepal lanceolate, petals only 2 mm long. Labellum green with maroon tints or wholly green, recurved at right angles near the middle. Flowering between late August to October. Fruits are brown papery ellipsoid capsules along the spike. Seeds are very small orange-brown ellipsoid seed with a long cylindrical translucent brown mesh-like covering.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between October and December. Collect fat 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. Seed germination in orchids is difficult in the absence of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi. More research is needed to understand the requirements for seed germination in Prasophyllum species.
Obligate re-spouter and re-seeder.
Longevity: ?? years
Time to flowering: ??? year
In 2020-2021 this species was assessed post-fire in 1 year and 2 year old fire scars. Further populations will be assessed and seeds collected on Kangaroo Island in 2021–2022. Germination screening testing the response to fire cues will be undertaken in 2021.This project was supported by the UK Bushfire Fund program.
|Location||No. of seeds|
|BGA||118,200 (0.085 g)||15||23-Oct-2018||DJD3803|