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Northern Beaches - Meeting & talk: Orchids mimic pea plants to increase chance of pollination

  • 4 Apr 2024
  • 7:15 PM
  • The Corkery Building, Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, 810 Pittwater Rd, Dee Why

Join us for a meeting and a talk presented by James Indsto concerning the mimicry, trickery and survival tactics of native orchids.

James Indsto, member of Parramatta Hills group, will base the talk on research for his Masters of Science degree.

James has always had an interest in science and horticulture and started out by training in horticulture. A BSc. in biology led to a role in plant virology research and then in cancer genetics. This led to a position with NSW Police as a forensic botanist where he has undertaken some major crime casework.

Diuris orchids frequently occur in woodland in the same locations as the many species of pea flowers we know collectively as 'Eggs and Bacon' (DaviesiaPultenaea, BossiaeaDillwynia etc). For quite a long time there were accounts of some species of bees visiting these orchids even though there was no reward for them. So this is a tale of deception in nature. The orchid has mimicked the pea flowers the bees really should be visiting for food and thereby ensures that it will be pollinated successfully. James will give an account of the research which proved this by using DNA analysis.

All welcome.

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