SPECIES: Calochilus cupreus — Copper Beard Orchid

CLASSIFICATION: Critically endangered

Isn’t nature a wonder. Take the Copper Beard Orchid for example. So rare in fact, it’s critically endangered. Endemic to south-eastern Australia, it grows as a singly fleshy leaf with up to 15 pale green and red flowers, with a purple…yes, beard. A flower with a beard.

The Copper Beard Orchid is known from a few scattered locations – from the Blackdown Tableland in Queensland, coastal NSW, inland Victoria and single collections on Tasmania and on the Fleurieu Peninsula in SA. Threats to the Copper Beard Orchid are largely, land clearing, fire and grazing.

Photo: Tim Dredge

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