A rare and beautiful find at Fingal Head
28 April 2015
The endangered Pink Nodding Orchid has been discovered as a result of a North Coast Local Land Services Bitou Bush removal project at Fingal Head. The project is being undertaken on lands owned and managed by Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council and implemented by the Madhima Gulgan Aboriginal Bush Regeneration Team.
There are thought to be less than 20 populations of Pink Nodding Orchid in NSW, all north of Bundjalung National Park, and including Tweed Shire.
With the Pink Nodding Orchid listed as endangered, identifying it is an important step in protecting it. It is a ground orchid that flowers in December and January and is dormant (the plant is not visible above the ground) during winter. It has three to five leaves that are 15 – 35 cm long, 4 – 8 cm wide and marked by three prominent ribs. The flowering stem is 15 – 30 cm long and has 8 – 20 white to deep-pink flowers.
North Coast Local Land Services funds a range of programs to help control bitou bush which is an introduced plant in NSW and listed as noxious in all coastal districts. It was planted widely along the NSW coast between 1946 and 1968 to reduce dune erosion, but spread rapidly. It is found along 46% of the State's coastline with the North Coast, in particular, heavily infested. In some cases, the weed has spread over 10 kilometres inland.
Kel Langfield, Land Services Officer, said of the find, "Control of bitou bush can be a difficult job that requires the commitment of all partners involved. It makes it worthwhile when we discover such a rare plant that can now be protected."
He continued, "The Madhima Gulgan Aboriginal Bush Regeneration Team are the only commercial Aboriginal bush regeneration team with the Byron and Tweed Shire areas and the commitment of Tweed Byron LALC and Madhima Gulgan is to be acknowledged."
Media contact: Kelvin Langfield, Land Services Officer Phone 6623 3927 or 0429 773 289
Photo caption: Geodorum densiflorum- the rare and endangered Nodding Pink Orchid.