Seeds of South Australia
Gastrodia procera (Orchidaceae)
Tall Potato Orchid
List of species for Gastrodia
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Seed collecting:
February to March
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA region
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [no records ]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [newly discovered spp.]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Gastrodia]
Name derivation:
Gastrodia from the Greek 'gastrodes' meaning pot-bellied; referring to the swollen, sometimes bulbous flower. Procera from the Latin 'procerus' meaning high, tall; referring to the tall, erect flower spike.
Found near Mount Gambier in South Australia, growing in areas of high rainfall in wet sclerophyll forests, dry sclerophyll forests, woodlands and riparian areas. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Grows to 120 cm tall with up to 70 crowded flowers. These epiparasitic herb are leafless but have scale like bracts along the dark brown stem. Flowers are scented, bell-shaped, cinnamon-brown with white tips to 20 mm long. Flowering between November and December.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ellipsoid capsule.
Seed type:
Very small yellow ovoid seed with a translucent clear mesh-like covering.
Seed collecting:
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.
Seed cleaning:
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 or in liquid nitrogen.
Seed viability:
For the NVC South East Orchid Project one populations consisting of more than X individuals in total was recorded from Telford Conservation Park. Approximately 5,050,000 seeds (1.18g) were banked from this population. Seed viability from four collections made ranged from 50% to 78%.