The Species Orchid Society of Western Australia (Inc)


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By R.L. Heberle
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The botanical history of the South West was essentially a saga of extraordinary endeavour, where the first settlers although mainly involved with "day to day" survival, still found the time to explore and collect the strangely different flora, and ranged far and wide into what was then a harsh and inhospitable land.

It was largely from the efforts of these intrepid souls and the early visitors providing a solid foundation of knowledge that has culminated in the current nearly 8000 species that have been named and described.

With the spectacular progress of our state during the past 160 years, agriculture, industry, commerce and population increases have put much of the flora under threat, it is appropriate to look back, to recognize, admire and pay homage to those very few, who paved the way forward.

The scope of this work is to cover botanical history from Menzies (1791) to George (1971) with the emphasis on those people involved in the collecting, recording, naming and describing terrestrial orchid species. A brief history is given of the lives and times of those so involved.

The author hopes that the members of the W.A.N.O.S.C. and other readers will be influenced to read at least some of the literature, where a much fuller coverage makes quite fascinating reading.

1754-1842. Surgeon and Naturalist.

H.M.S. "Discovery" under the command of Captain George Vancouvre en route to NorthAmerica discovered King George's Sound (Albany) in 1791. During thirteen days (28 Sept -11 Oct) Vancouvre explored the area and named King George's Sound - Bald Head - Breaksea and Michaelmas Islands - Princess Royal and Oyster Harbours.

Archibald Menzies had been appointed to the expedition under the sponsorship of Sir Joseph Banks with the instructions to study climates, report on soil fertility, collect samples of seeds, plants and shrubs, and to put the earth and rocks to his microscope. His remuneration was to be eighty pounds per year.

He made extensive collections of plants at King George's Sound, however, most were lost before the "Discovery" returned to England 3½ years later.

Robert Brown wrote up and published the surviving specimens in his epic work Prodromus Florea Hollandia et Insula Van Dieman in 1810 (The forerunner to the Flora of New Holland and the Island of Van Dieman). This work contained the first three terrestrial orchids to be named and described from New Holland (the south western part of W. Australia). One of these was named in Menzies honour.

Below, are the first three terrestrial orchids to be named in Western Australia. These were all in flower around Frenchmans Bay at the time that Archibald Menzies collected in late September, early October 1791.

*Caladenia menziesii R. Brown Prod. 1810 (Now called Leptoceras)

* C. flava R Brown Prod. 1810

* Diuris longifolia R Brown Prod.1810

* Diuris longifolia Two variants from Frenchmans Bay

As at least 30 orchids flower in the area during September/October, we must assume that if collected, were among the lost specimens.

ROBERT BROWN 1773-1858. Surgeon, Botanist and Naturalist

Under the patronage of Sir Joseph Banks, Robert Brown was appointed to the Flinders Expedition commissioned by the British Admiralty in 1801 to explore and map the coastline of New Holland. The "Investigator" first sighted Cape Leeuwin and proceeded east to King George's Sound, arriving on December 8 and continued the voyage along the south coast on January 5, 1802.

Apart from the mapping exercises of the area a defective mast had to be replaced. This enabled Robert Brown and his assistants Peter Goode (a gardener from Kew) and Ferdinand Baeur (botanical artist) to collect some 500 specimens of flora mostly new to botanical science.

* Cryptostylis ovata

During one of these collecting trips the party was stranded overnight in an area now called Lake Seppings and recorded being 'eaten alive' by mosquitoes. The most extensive search was from Princess Royal Harbour along a chain of swamps and lakes to the west where Young's Siding now stands and returning along the coastal scarp to Frenchman's Bay anchorage. Brown recorded 13 terrestrials from his King George's Sound collections and a further 18 from his eastern states collections have since proved to be represented in W.A.

We can thank Sir Joseph Banks for the success of Brown's collections as he provided ten thousand pounds to finance the Flinders Expedition. Orchids named as a result include:


*Diuris emarginata var pauciflora,

*D. emarginata var. emarginata

*Diuris setacea

* Epiblima grandiflorum

* Microtis alb

*M. media

*M. pulchella

*Prasophyllum gibossum ..................*P. macrostachyum var macrostachyum

* Thelymitra canaliculata


*Thelymitra tigrina

*Thelymitra fuscolutea var fuscolutea

In 1871 Reichenbach named Prasophyllum brownii and Microtis brownii in Brown's honour from specimens collected at King George's Sound by Brown in 1801. The latter has since been reduced to synonymy because of Brown's prior name M. rara from a collection in South Australia in 1802. He was also honoured by Endlicher in 1871 with Caladenia brunonis (now Elythranthera brunonis)
collected by Von Huegel at the Swan River Colony (Perth) and at King George's Sound (Albany) in November and December 1833.

Brown's work at King George's Sound in 1801 has proved to be extremely thorough, since then just four terrestrials not recorded by him have been found flowering in December. It is interesting to note that all of Brown's recordings can still be seen flowering in December as they did 185 years ago.


JAMES DRUMMOND 1748-1863. Gardener, Botanical Collector.

Captain Stirling's colonizing party arrived at the Swan River on the "Parmelia" in 1829. James Drummond one of the original colonists became official gardener, and soon afterwards commenced botanical exploration and collecting that was to span the next 15 years.

His expeditions ranged far and wide into what was then an inhospitable and unrelenting land. He was in the forefront of settlers to visit remote areas, south to Augusta, east to the Barren Mountains (Fitzgerald River National Park) and north to the champion Bay (Geraldton) and the Murchison River and north-east to the edge of the desert country (The Eremaean)

Drummond's collections were sent initially to Captain Mangles who visited the Swan River in 1831 and later to John Lindley and Sir William J Hooker. Lindley arranged disposal of duplicate collections that were studied by Stephan Endlicher and Heinrich Reichenbach. Poor communication between European and English researchers resulted in numerous species being named more than once; this was later to cause great confusion as to the correct status of species. Drummond's collections represented some 2000 species new to botanical science, his contributions were easily the most important of the period.

It is difficult to speculate the hardship he endured when the only transport was on foot or on horseback with initially only bush tracks and few datum points in sparsely settled areas. This resulted in an inability to give precise locations for most specimens, many of these are still known only by the type collections.

Sir W J Hooker of "Kew" (The Royal Botanical Gardens) with the receipt of one of his last collections (220 species) in 1848 from the northern areas, stated that this was a fitting conclusion to a dedicated collector whose love of a unique and beautiful native flora has 'never been matched before or since. He played his part in the growth of the infant colony and was in the forefront of the exploration of the landscape. Hooker commenting on a consignment from the Barren Mountains stated that he had rarely seen so great a number of fine and remarkable species arrive at one time from any country. Ludwig Diels wrote: "He joined in every struggle the young country had to fight to overcome the difficulties, but all his labours and bitter experiences did not separate him from his favourite hobby, with rare devotion and real enthusiasm he kept it up to the end".

Caladania discoidea,

In 1846 the British Government recognized his contributions to botanical science with a gratuity of two hundred pounds; he was further recognized by some 100 species named in his honour.

Drummond's terrestrial orchid collections resulted in some 60 species being named. Just 30 have survived botanical revisions.

Named by J Lindley 1840 vegetation Sketch Swan River Colony.

Caladania gemmata; (Now Cyanicula)

C. reptans;

C. sericea;

C. patersonii var longicauda;

C. filamentosa var denticulata;


C. filamentosa var filifera

Paracaleana nigrita

Diuris laxifolia

Drakaea elastica

Eriochilus dilatata;

Eriochilus scaber

Leporella fimbriata

Lyperanthus serratus


Microtis atrata

Prasophyllum ovale;

P. parvifolium;

P. giganteum (No picture)

Pterostylis barbata;

P. scabra var scabra

Thelymitra antennifera;

T. campanulata;

T. crinita.


T. fuscolutea var stellata;


T. variegata;

T. variegata;

T. villosa;

T. spiralis.

Spiculaea ciliata.


Named by Reichenbach, 1871, Additional Plants to Systematic Botanical Science.

Caladenia barbarossa;

C. multiclavia;

C. saccharata.

Prasophyllum drummundii;


Prasophyllum fimbria;

Prasophyllum hians;

Prasophyllum ovals var triglochin; (No picture)

Named by Bentham, 1873, Flora Australiesis.

Caladenia drummondii;


Pterostylis recurva.

JOHN SEPTIMUS ROE l797-l878 Surveyor Explorer and Botanical Collector.

John Septimus Roe was another of the original colonists and was later to become Surveyor General. He became the principal explorer of the colony. Possibly his greatest exploratory achievement was in 1848 when under the orders of Governor Fitzgerald, he was instructed to explore from Cape Riche to the Russell Ranges (east of Esperance and named by John Eyre in 1841). He was to look for coal deposits, permanent fresh water and grazing land. Roe had previously explored the coastline by sea with Captain Phillip King in 1819, he had noted mountain peaks inland and was to name most of these.

Fitzgerald Peaks (after the Governor), Mount Charles
(now Peak Charles), Mount Eleanor, Mount Ridley, Mount
Howick, Mount Ney and Mount Merrivale, Stokes Inlet,
Lort River, Young River, Phillips River, Fitzgerald
River, Mount Desmond, Eyre Range, Mount Bland, Mount
Madden, Culham Inlet and the Bremer Range.

During this and other expeditions, he collected botanical specimens that were sent to Sir W J Hooker and Ferdinand Von Mueller. Ten species were named in his honour, one being an orchid.

Bentharri 1873, Flora Australiensis. Caladenia roei.

Caladenia roei.

CAPT JAMES MANGLES R.N. 1786-1867. Naturalist and Patron of Botanical Collecting.

Capt. Mangles arrived at the Swan River at the invitation of his cousin Lady Stirling (the Governors wife) in 1831. Assisted by James Drummond and other settlers; G F Moore, T. Carroll, Capt. Meares and Mrs. Bull, he made extensive collections of seeds and specimens of the flora in an area approximating the Perth Metropolitan Region. Through Lady Stirling he arranged for these and other collections to be forwarded to England in the future. Georgiana Molloy of Augusta was later to forward extensive collections to Capt. Mangles.

Dried specimens particularly from Drummond were forwarded onto Lindley and some found their way to European Herbaria. Seeds and growing material were grown by Mangles in his private gardens and by his brother Robert who was a horticulturist. Some type specimens were grown in this way, with surplus material sent to other English gardens.

Orchid collections reaching Lindley were credited to the name of the sender.

BARON VON HUEGEL 1796-1870. Botanical Collector.

Von Huegel visited the Swan River Colony in 1833 during November-December. He botanised around the area we now know as Perth, assisted by James Drummond and other settlers. He later proceeded to King George's Sound by ship and made further collections. He had some very pertinent criticisms about the British Governments lack of support to the struggling colony. His collections were written up by Endlicher and others and published in "Enumeratio Plantarum" in 1837 wherein he was honoured by 16 species bearing his name. This work included three of his orchid collections:

Caladenia huegelii. H.G. Reichb. At Swan River. Nov 1833.

Elythranthera brunosis. (Endl~ A. S. George At King George's Sound & Swan River, 1833

Thelymitra flexuosa. (EndL) At King George's Sound Dec, 1833.


DR ALEXANDER COLLIE. Surgeon, Magistrate and Amateur Botanist.

Dr Collie was another of the original colonists and was later stationed at King George's Sound where he remained until 1835. He took a keen interest in the Aborigines, learning their language and customs, and showed compassion and concern for their welfare. His botanical collections were sent to Lindley resulting in two orchids being named:

* Pterostylis vittata var vittata Lindley 1840. Vegetation Sketch of Swan River Colon

* Caladenia marginata Lindley 1840

Vegetation Sketch of Swan River Colony.ex King George's Sound and Collie.

GEORGIANA MOLLOY 1805-1843. Botanical Collector.

Mrs. Molloy was the wife of Capt Molloy leader of the first settlers at Augusta in 1830. Georgiana, a cultured and well educated woman had a love for garden flowers and had brought seeds, bulbs and plants from England. She quickly became enchanted with the local native flora and was fascinated by their strange and different beauty.
Lady Stirling arranged for Mrs. Molloy to collect seeds and specimens to forward onto Capt. Mangles. She maintained a regular correspondence with him sending specimens over a period of seven years. Mangles responded by sending her regular supplies of "creature comforts" that were not readily available in the colony. Although not very robust she was to bear seven children and under tragic circumstances her only son was drowned as a child.
Mrs. Molloy extended her hospitality to all who came to Augusta including James Drummond and Ludwig Preiss and assisted them with her extensive knowledge of the local flora.

George Bentham mentioned in "Flora Australiensis" that she made a major contribution to botanical science. After the family moved to the Vasse her health deteriorated. She wrote to Mangles in her last letter "I have sent you everything worth sending".

George Hailes, prominent English Gardener wrote of her "not one in ten thousand who go to distant lands has done what she did for her native country".

Most of Georgiana Molloy's orchid collections were reduced to synonymy. She shared with James Drummond.

Caladenia hirta Lindley Vasse River Mrs. Molloy


JORANN AUGUSTUS LUDWIG FREISS 1811-1883. Botanist and Biologist.

Ludwig Preiss was financed by the Austrian Governments to collect plants and biological specimens. He spent three years 1839-1841 at the Swan River Colony and collected some 2700 specimens, being assisted by the settlers, particularly James Drummond and Georgiana Molloy.

Most of his biological specimens were purchased from the settlers and their children. Animal and bird skins, eggs, seashells etc. There was considerable criticism from the settlers that foreign governments were taking advantage of the colony's natural flora and fauna and their own government was not interested.

Preiss aware of the settlers resentment, sought to become a British subject and offered to the Governor to make all his collections available, however this was refused.

Most of his collections came from the well settled areas and he was able to give meticulous descriptions, locations and habitats, mostly lacking from other collections at that time.

One very important result of Preiss's visit was that he influenced Ferdinand Von Mueller to come to Australia in 1852


Caladenia nana En dl.
Mt Clarence, Preiss, Oct. 5, 1840.

His botanical collections were written up in "Planta Preissieanae"by J.G.C. Lehmann 1844-1847 wherein he was honoured by 40 species being named after him.

As most of Preiss 's orchid collections were duplicates of Drummond's just three have survived reduction to synonymy.

Prasophylum macrostayum R.Br. var ringens Reich. F. 1871 York, Preiss

Acianthus reniformie R. Br. var hueglii Endl. Rottnest Island Preiss Aug 22, 1839.


GEORGE MAXWELL 1805-1879. Botanical Collector and Naturalist.

George Maxwell arrived at King George's Sound in 1840 and did extensive collecting work around the Sound in the Stirlings and east to the Barren Mountains. On at least two occasions he botanised with James Drummond.

To provide income for his expeditions he established a nature and curios stall on the shipping jetty and also gave guided tours for a fee. He later became a supplier of sandalwood Santalum spicatum, even he kept up his botanising until 1863.

Most of his specimens went to Mueller however some are lodged at Kew and the British Museum of Natural History.

Ten species were named in his honour though only one orchid was named from his collections:

Thelymitra cornicina H.G. Reichb.King George's Sound, Maxwell


DR WILLIAM HENREY HARVEY 1811-1866. Professor of Botany, Keeper of Herbarium Dublin.

Dr Harvey visited King George's Sound in 1854 and spent eight months in the colony mostly collecting marine plants, of which he was a world authority.

He had one orchid named:

Caladenia aphylla Benth. Flora Australiensis 1873 King George's Sound, Harvey


AUGUSTUS FREDRICK OLDFIELD 1820-1887. Botanist and Zoologist

Oldfield made extensive collections in Tasmania during the mid nineteenth century. He collected in W.A. up to the 1860's and his collections went to the Melbourne botanical gardens and to Kew gardens.

Thirteen species were named in his honour he had one orchid named:
Prasophyllum cyphochilum Benth.

Upper Kalgan, Oldfield.


BARON FERDINAND VON MUELLER 1825-1896. Government Botanist Victoria 1857-1873.

On the recommendation of Sir W J Hooker, Von Mueller was appointed as Government Botanist in Victoria in 1857. His prodigious enthusiasm and willingness to make extensive field excursions resulted in his becoming the foremost authority on Australian flora for those times.

As a member of A C Gregory's exploration to the Kimberleys in 1856 he made extensive collections and visited W.A. again in 1867, when he influenced numerous settlers to collect for him from as far afield as the Murchison River to Israelite Bay.

Ferdinand Von Mueller had intended to write up and publish the Flora of Australia and was most disappointed when Bentham was chosen for this work. However he co-operated willingly with Bentham. Some authorities consider that he should have been regarded as co-author of "Flora Australiensis"

His major contribution to the knowledge of flora in Australia was recognized in his award of K.C.M.G. in 1879.

He collected and named two orchids in W.A.

Caladenia cairnsiana F. Muell.
collected at Stirling Range

Lyperanthus forrestii F Muell. 1882 Near Stirling Range, J. Forrest


ROBERT DAVID FITZGERALD. 1830-1892. Deputy Surveyor General NSW.

Robert Fitzgerald did early research into self pollination and pollinating mechanisms with terrestrial orchids. He did pioneering work in NSW particularly along the Hawkesbury River and in the environs of Sydney He visited W.A. in 1881 and did field work around Perth to Bunbury and to Albany. His collections resulted in the naming of 12 terrestrials, 5 of these have since been reduced to synonyms.

Caladenia lobata Fitzg. 1882. Upper Hay River

All of his orchid collections were published in Australian Orchids 1875-1894. This publication is now a collector's piece. The quality of his artistic plates, accurate to the finest detail, and with clear concise text is considered to be amongst the finest orchid work that has ever appeared.

His named W.A. orchids are all published in "Gardners Chronicle".

Caladenia macrostylis Fitzg. 1882. Upper Hay River

C. plicata Fitzg. 1882 Wharberton, St Werber gs) Upper Hay River

Diuris laevis Fitzg. 1882 Wilsons Inlet, Sept 1881

Thelymitra mucida Fitzg. 1882 Wilsons Inlet, Sept 1881

Drakea glyptodon Fitzg. 1882 Bunbury, Sept 1881

Prasophyllum triangulare Fitzg. 1882 Albany, Oct 1881


THEODORE GOADBY 1862-1944. Orchidologist.

Arrived in W.A. in 1895 and became a member of the garrison at the Albany Fort. His field work tended to specialize in orchids from Albany to Perth and into the Wheatbelt.

Acianthus tenuissimus Nicholls et Goadby Sept-Oct 1933

ex E.T.Goadby Bayswater Perth Sept-Oct 1932.

His interest spanned nearly 50 years and numerous orchid specimens are under his name at the W.A. Herbarium. He also sent specimens to Dr Rogers in South Australia who, in recognizing his contributions to knowledge named Goadbyella gracilis in his honour. It is ironical that this genus was considered to be an aberrant hybrid and therefore was subsequently dismissed as a valid taxon. However the literature and herbarium sheets will preserve and recognize his more than half a life time of dedicated effort.

R.S. Rogers records Goadby specimens in naming:

Caladenia triangularis Goadby, Highbury Sept 1924

Pterostylis rogersii Goadby, July 1928-29

P. scabra var robusta Goadby, Perth, Fremantle, July 1927(No picture)

Thelymitra sargentii Goadby, Dalwallinu, Oct 1929


CECIL ROLLO PAYTON ANDREWS 1870-1957. Principal, Teachers Training College Director of Education.

Cecil Andrews was a keen botanist and collected mainly in the Perth - York - Northam areas and visited Albany, Stirling Ranges and the Barrens; often with his friend and associate, Oswald Sargent; his interest spanned some fifty years. Many of his specimens are lodged at the W.A. Herbarium.

His work has been honoured by 7 species of flora bearing his name.

He was the first West Australian to name an orchid and published two in the Journals of the W.A. Historical Society.

Pterostylis sargentii C Andrews 1905York, O.H. Sargent, July-Aug 190

Thelymitra psammophila C Andrews 1905
Upper Kalgan River & Stirling Range, Andrews, Oct 1903.


OSWALD HEWLETT SARGENT 1880-1952. Pharmacist and Orchidologist

Did extensive field work in the York area and elsewhere. Was the first West Australian to publish notes on pollination; from observations of wasps pollinating C. barbarossa. Many of his specimens are lodged at the W.A. Herbarium.

Five species were named after him, three were orchid


Pterostylis sargentii C. Andrews 1905 York, O.H. Sargent, July-Aug, 1905

Thelymitra sargentii R.S. Rogers 1930 Bruce Rock O.H.Sargent Oct 1929

Prasophyllum sargentii (W.H.Nicholl5) A.S. George Beverley, Nicholls, Sept 1948 (No picture)

One Species named


Caladenia doutchiae Sargent 1926
Datatine near Katanning, Miss L.Doutch


FREDRICH LUDWIG EMIL DIELS 1874-1945. Director of Berlin Botanic Gardens

Ludwig Diels together with G C Pritzel (Teacher of Botany) traveled widely in W.A. during 1900-1901. Their most extensive collections of flora totaled some 5700 specimens. These collections were jointly written up in Fragmenta Photographiae Australiae Ocidentalis, a major authority on our flora. This work named one orchid.

Diuris purdiei Diels 1903 Cannington, A. Purdie.

KARL DOMIN 1882-1953. Professor of Botany Prague.

Professor Domin described and wrote about many W.A. plants. He named two of our orchids.

Caladenia filamentosa var caesarea Domin 1912 Bridgetown, Kojonup, Slab Hut
Gulley, Dorrien Smith, 1909

C. filamentosa var dorrienji Domin 1912 Bridgetown, Kojonup, Slab Hut Gulley, Dorrien Smith 1909t


DR RICHARD SANDERS ROGERS 1862-1942. Surgeon and Orchidologist
Dr Rogers was one of a number of orchidologists who surfaced in the late 1800's in Australia, after British and European interest in taxonomy had waned. His contributions to knowledge and research was evident in numerous papers published in the Royal Societies of Australia and overseas. These were recognized by him being awarded his Doctorate of Science at Adelaide University in 1936. His thesis on orchids was acclaimed by authorities in England and elsewhere.

After correspondence with a number of W.A. enthusiasts, he and his wife Jean, visited in 1919 and did extensive fieldwork. His total of 79 orchid species named Australia wide has not been surpassed and has only been approached by the Reverend Rupp.

Bryce Macintyre. Caladenia bryceana Rogers 1914 ~ River, Sept 1914.

He named and described seventeen species from W.A. all published in the Trans Royal Soc. of S. Aust. The most uniquely important of these was "The Underground Orchid" Rhizanthella gardneri, the subject of considerable research over recent years, initially funded by a grant from the World Wildlife Fund.
His names for W.A. orchids include:

C. cristata Rogers 1923 F. Simpson, Miling, Sept 1923.

C. lavandulacea Rogers 1927 Miss W. Deadman, Beverley, Sept 1926.(No picture)

C. radialis Rogers 1927 F. Stoward, Beverley, 13 Sept 1927.

C. radialis


H. Ising, Beverley, 1 Sept 1913.
C. sigmoidea Rogers 1938 L. Horbury, Kumari, 25 Aug 1937.

C. triangularis Rogers 1927 E.T. Goadby, Highbury, Sept 1924

Prasophyllum regium Rogers 1918 R. Pulliene, Manjimup, Dec 1917

Prasophyllum regium Rogers 1918 R. Pulliene, Manjimup, Dec 1917

P.lanceolatum Rogers 1920 Johnson, Albany, 25 Sept 1919. Mrs W.E. Cooke, Muresk, 4 Sept 1907.

Pterostylis allantoidea Rogers 1938 L. Horbury, Kumari, Aug 1937.

P. scabra var robusta Rogers 1920 E.T. Goadby, Perth, July 1927. E.T. Goadby, Swanbourne, July 1927.(No picture)

Rhizanthella gardneri Rogers 1928 J. Trott, Corrigin, 23 May 1928.
J. Plant, Shackleton, June 1928.

Thelymitra sargentii Rogers 1930 O.H. Sargent, Bencubbin, Oct 1924. R.E. Edmonson, Bencubbin. Oct 1929. B.T. Goadby, Dalwallinu, Oct 1929.

Dryakaea jeanensis 1920 Jean Rogers, Ravenswood, Sept 1919.

EDITH COLEMAN, Orchidologist

Edith Coleman continued the research on pollination of Australian orchids commenced by Robert Fitzgerald during the 1880's and was involved with O.H. Sargent who was doing similar work in W.A. The results of this work were published in the "Victoria Naturalist" 1927-1934, in thirteen papers.

Her pioneering work on pollination made her the first of her sex to publish results of this type of research. She was also the first woman to name and describe orchids in Australia.
After corresponding with enthusiasts she visited W.A. in 1928, doing extensive fieldwork with their assistance. This resulted in the naming of four W.A. terrestrials all published in the 'Victoria Naturalist".

Caladenia integra E. Coleman 1933 Miss R Sandilands, Tunney
Mr Rowe, Kendenup, Sept 1930/31/32

C. longiclavata var longiclavata E. Coleman 1930, Boyup Brook, Busselton,
Donneybrook Sept 1928/29/30.

C. longiclavata var rhomboidiformis E.Colemam 1929, Boyup Brook, Busselton, Donnybrook, Sept 1928/29/30.

Pterostylis rogersii 1929 E. Coleman, Miss J. Banks, Mr. E. Bryant B.T. Goadby Bunbury, Collie, Busselton, June-July 1928/29.

WILLIAM NICHOLLS. Amateur Orchidologist.

With only a primary school education he taught himself enough botanical Latin and art to name and describe numerous Australian orchids.

William Nicholls life interest in our orchids reflected a dedication and singleness of purpose that was quite unique for his time. His magnum opus, Orchids of Australia , remains the most comprehensive reference available.

He visited W.A. in 1946 and 1948 and assisted by local enthusiasts did extensive field work resulting in describing and naming 13 new species. Two of these have subsequently been reduced to synonyms.

All were published in the "Victorian Naturalist".

Caladenia dilatata var falcate Nicholls. Kojonup, Sept26, 1948.

Caladenia dilatata var falcate

C. ericksonae Nicholls. Mrs R Erickson, Bolgart, Sept 27, 1949.

C.longiclavata var magniclavata Nicholls, Lesmurdie, Sept 26, 1948.

C. radiata Nicholls. Yarloop. Oct 9, 1948.

C. radiata

Prasophyllum grimwadeanum Nicholls. Middleton Beach, Oct 1946.

Prasophyllum grimwadeanum

P. sargentii Nicholls. July/August 1949.

Pterostylis vittata var subdifformis Nicholls. Miss F. Corker, Boyup Brook, 1930.(No picture)

Thelymitra spiralis var pallida Nicholls. ex Mrs. C. Scoulera, Yarloop, Aug 1948

T. spiralis var punctata Nicholls ex Mrs Scoulera, Yarloop August 1948.

T. spiralis var scoulera Nicholls ex Mrs G Scoulera, Yarloop August 1948.

Acianthus tenuissimus Nicholls et Goadby. E.T. Goadby,

Bayswater, Sept/October 1932.

Caladenia ensata (Reduced to a synonym but since re-enstated)

Caladenia ensata

HERMAN M.R. RUPP. 1872-1956. Clergyman and Orchidologist.

The Reverend Rupp was another of the Australian enthusiasts that became involved with the Orchidaceae in the late 1800's. During an extremely active life he traveled widely in the eastern states, and corresponded and visited numerous interested people. His enthusiastic interest resulted in the naming of some 70 orchids. He published numerous papers the most important being:

Orchids of New South Wales and A Guide to the Orchids of New South Wales as sections of the Flora of NSW (National Herbarium).

His contribution to the knowledge and taxonomy placed him on an equal footing in importance to Dr Rogers.

He named one terrestrial from W.A.:

Thelymitra cucullata H.M.R. Rupp. Aust Orch Review 1946 Miss D Southland, Youngs Siding, W.A. August 1945.


Alex George joined the W.A. Herbarium staff in 1959 and became a senior botanist. He was one of the very few who had an extensive knowledge and interest in the Orchidaceae. He also specialized in Verticordia and Banksia has published more than 50 scientific papers. Has also been author and co-author of a number of books on general flora and orchids. The most important of these are "The Banksia " illustrated by Cynthia Rosser.

It was Alex George's continuing interest over a period of years that eventually contributed to the rediscovery of one of the world's most unique orchids Rhizanthella gardneri at Munglinup by farmer John McGuiness in 1979.

One of his most important works was the publication of "A Check List Of The Orchidacea Of Western Australia" in 1971.
In 1981 he took up a position at Canberra as Executive Director of the revision of The Flora of Australia where he is responsible for co-ordinating the more than 100 specialized researchers that are contributing throughout Australia.
He named and described four orchids published in Nuytsia, bulletin of the Western Australian herbarium Vol. 1 No. 2,1971.

Caladenia corynephora A.S. George, Banks of Donnelly River, Dec 7~ 1957.

C. crebra A.S. George 1971 Dongara, W.A., A.S. George, Aug 29, 1969.

C. graminifolia A.S. George, Culham Inlet W of Hopetoun, WA., AS. George, Aug 1, 1969.

Pterostylis angusta A.S. George, 1971 West of Mt Trio, Stirling Range, W.A. A.S. George, Aug 2, 1969.


Alex George published 7 new names in 1985. Bob Bates 1, in 1984. Stephen Hopper after four years of revision of Drakaea and Caladenia has some 30 new species in Manuscript. Diuris, Pterostylis, Prasophyllum, Thelymitra and minor genera are currently being revised for inclusion in The Flora of Australia


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Erickson, Rica 1951 Orchids of the West

Erickson, Rica 1969 The Drum'monds of Hawthornden

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Kerr, Ronald 1964 The Sharp Eyes of Robert Brown
Australian Orchid Review March 1964

Kerr, Ronald 1966 The Tool that Moved the World
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George, Alexander S. 1971 A Check List of the Orchidaceae of
Western Australia. Nuytsia Vol 1. 1, No. 2.

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University of Western Australia Press 1978.

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