Seeds of South Australia
Prasophyllum sp. Waterholes (R.Bates 9037) (Orchidaceae)
Pretty Waterhole Leek Orchid
List of species for Prasophyllum
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
November to March
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA regions
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: )   (Probable Decline)
Wimmera (MDD05)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: )   (Probable Decline)
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 Prasophyllum]
Name derivation:
Prasophyllum from the Greek ‘prason’ meaning a leek and ‘phyllon’ meaning a leaf, referring to the leek-like orchid leaf. The transcript name refer to the waterhole habitat of the species.
Found in the lower South-east in South Australia and restricted to waterholes in river red gum flats which fill with water in winter and dry out in spring-summer. Also found in Victoria.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Victoria.
Plant description:
Terrestrial orchid with a robust, reddish stem to 30 cm tall and a single leaf-blade to 20 cm long, purple at the base. Inflorescence a crowded spike with numerous green, pink, white and brown flowers. Lateral sepals widely spreading and thrust horizontally forward, labellum white, curved back gradually at nearly 180 degrees, margins very frilly and crisped. The column wings are usually pink and exposed. Flowering between November to February.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ellipsoid capsule.
Seed type:
Very small dark brown ellipsoid seed with an ovoid translucent brown 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, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.
Seed viability:
For the NVC South East Orchid Project two populations consisting of more than 130 individuals in total were recorded from the Geegeela area and Topperwien Native Forest Reserve. Approximately 770,000 seeds (0.5 g) were banked from these two observed populations. Seed viability for these two collections was 48% and 77%. 
Seed germination:
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.