Birdwatching in Wagga Wagga


Native Orchids in Livingstone National Park
October 26, 2009, 9:51 am
Filed under: Flora | Tags: , , , ,

Livingstone National Park and State Conservation Area is located around 30 kilometres south of Wagga Wagga. It covers just under 2,500 hectares of land and is something of a haven for native flora and fauna in the area. Sadly, few substantial areas of native vegetation remain around Wagga, and so Livingstone is extremely important.

The management plan developed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service can be found here, and is an excellent source of information on the park. Be sure to check out Appendix 1, which lists all native fauna species recorded within the park’s boundaries. My own list, unfortunately, is much smaller, though I suspect it more accurately reflects the sorts of species you are likely to find in the park.

This is the first in what I am sure will be a lengthy series on Livingstone. Part of the park’s appeal is that it supports a large number of native plant species that are not commonly found in the region. Most interesting of these, I think, are the orchids. According to the park’s Wikipedia article, three species of orchid have been recorded in the area. The management plan, however, mentions five. Neither is correct. To date I have photographed nine species of orchid in the park. They are shown here.

Waxlip Orchid (Glossodia major)

Waxlip Orchid (Glossodia major)


Tiger or Leopard Orchid (Diuris sp., possibly Diuris pardina)

Tiger or Leopard Orchid (Diuris sp., possibly Diuris pardina)


Pink Fingers (Caladenia carnea)

Pink Fingers (Caladenia carnea)


Hooded Caladenia (Caladenia cucullata), aka Cowl-Carrying Caladenia, Lemon Caps

Hooded Caladenia (Caladenia cucullata), aka Cowl-Carrying Caladenia, Lemon Caps



There is a very similar species called Musky Caladenia (Caladenia gracilis). To the best of my knowledge it can only be reliably distinguished from C. cucullata by smell. Whereas C. cucullata smells faintly of citrus, C. gracilis apparently has a very strong musky odour.

Dusky Fingers (Caladenia fuscata)

Dusky Fingers (Caladenia fuscata)


Nodding Greenhood (Pterostylis nutans), aka Parrot's Beak Orchid

Nodding Greenhood (Pterostylis nutans), aka Parrot's Beak Orchid


Blue Fingers (Caladenia caerulea)

Blue Fingers (Caladenia caerulea)


Mantis Orchid (Caladenia tentaculata), aka Green Comb, Fringed Spider Orchid

Mantis Orchid (Caladenia tentaculata), aka Green Comb, Fringed Spider Orchid


Caladenia tentaculata can be found within the park as individuals or as groups. In some cases multiple individuals grow very close to one another, as seen here.

The next (and last, for now) is undoubtedly my favourite:

Purple Beard Orchid (Calochilus robertsonii)

Purple Beard Orchid (Calochilus robertsonii)

The next post in this series will detail some of the other flora found in the park, as well as some of its fauna. The Willans Hill series (part one, part two) is also still in progress.

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Saw your interesting web site re orchids in Livingstone National Park.

I have been on a mission to locate as many as I can with a current count of 13-14.
Located last week what appears to be a variation of Caladenia Tentaculata, which I have found to be very rare. It is fundamentally the same shape but has a prominent purple centre with brilliant white sides. Am going out again on Wednesday for hopefully some photos.

I have found three varieties of Pterostylus and also spider orchids. The spider orchids are difficult to see and are rare.

Comment by John Westman




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