Protect the Orchids Along Yarra Bend

Help us protect and record the Yarra’s rare orchids.

Yarra Bend Park is home to some of the most significant species of flora in Melbourne, with at least 117 being recognised as important to Melbourne and 7 being listed at threatened.

Yarra Bend Park gives you a valuable opportunity to be able to appreciate rare species of flora – something which is not very common in many cities.

One species is the Slender Sun-orchid, or Thelymitra pauciflora. This orchid is shy, with their flowers rarely being open for more than a few days. The flower is the most social during warmer weather, tending to show of its flowers when there is strong sunlight. Fortunately, the arrival of Spring marks the time where they are likely to bloom so we can enjoy their small blue flowers.

At first glance, these orchids may be mistaken for grass. They’re small size and a lack of knowledge about their existence in the area makes these flowers vulnerable to being unknowingly trampled on or cycled over. Please help us spread awareness and appreciation about the need to protect and admire these wonderful orchids. Let’s work towards allowing more people to be able to witness their blue flowers for the short 2-3 weeks that they’re likely to bloom.

Distinguishing features:

Small blue flowers

Symmetrical Petals that resemble lilies

Slender, fleshy leaf that can be 6mm wide

The column is usually all yellow or reddish brown adjoining the yellow

Grass like leaf shape

Dark green leaf with the two sides being different colours

Where can you find them? 

These flowers have been spotted surprisingly close to Johnston Street. At the moment there are only two known colonies of these flowers at Yarra Bend Park. The best place to spot these orchids are at Galatea Point.

Please note that it is important to stay on marked trails in order to help conserve the rich biodiversity of Yarra Bend Park.

How you can help 

With the flowers starting to bloom, this is the perfect time to help contribute to the data of these rare flowers, and to help others appreciate them too!

Make sure that if you do spot them, to take a photo and submit it to our YRKA bioblitz Project. Or upload it to instagram and tag #orchidwatchYRKA

Keen to start protecting the Slender sun-orchid?

Click here and join the project

Help the community increase its awareness and appreciation of the River

There are a number of ways that you can help us to protect the Yarra. From becoming a member to volunteering your time, explore how you can help below.