Blc. Burdekin Bells 'Yeowie'

Blc. Burdekin Bells 'Yeowie'

 

Orchid Growing Information > Awarded Natives of the Early Years

Awarded Natives of the Early Years

Recently when good friend Dennis Wood loaned me his copy of 'The Australian Orchid Council Awards Register: 1964 - 1986 ---Nos. 1 to 600' to research an article that I was writing on Dendrobium Speciosum 'National White' I took the opportunity to scan the record for other native orchids that received awards in the early years. I was greatly surprised to discover that of the first 600 awards only 18 were awarded to native orchids.

While the small number of native species and hybrids to receive award recognition may have been a surprise so too was the relatively large variety of species and hybrids across a number of genera

  • 4 Sarcochilus species
  • 1 Sarcochilus hybrid
  • 5 Dendrobium species
  • 7 Dendrobium hybrids
  • 1 terrestrial species

There was also a large variety of growers achieving these awards. Most growers only appear once or twice on the list with J. Smith being the exception with 3 awards.

Just what this all means I'm not sure. Perhaps in these relatively early years of interest in native orchids there were few specialist native growers. Maybe early attempts at hybridising were struggling in their attempts to to develop quality breeding lines. Possibly growers were not encouraged to put natives up for award consideration. It is also possible that the 18 awards that were given compares very favourably with the level of recognition granted to other genera - I didn't have the inclination to count all of the other awards!

Regardless of these possible justifications it is surely the case that orchid species and hybrids being grown in their country of origin where a greater availability of genetic material, large areas of suitable environment and a healthy interest in all things native exist there should have been greater recognition of our native orchids. 18 awards out of 600 represents a mere 3 out of every 100 awards granted or 3 awards every 2 years over the first 12 years of AOC awards - I rest my case!

Summary Of AOC Awards to Native Orchids 1964 -1986

Award No.

Plant

Owner

Award

Year

159

Den. Bardo Rose 'Berowra'

R. Kerr

HCC

1975

231

Sarco. falcatus 'Miriam Ann'

A. J. Merriman

HCC

1977

296

Den. Bardo Rose 'Teresa'

C. Brandon

HCC

1979

297

Den. speciosum 'National White'

C. Brandon

HCC

1979

298

Den. kingianum 'Bungan Castle'

E. Webeck

AM

1979

299

Sarco. hartmannii 'Kerri'

J. Williams

AM

1979

330

Den. Ku-Ring-Gai 'Ann Brown'

W. Brown

HCC

1980

339

Caladenia catenata 'Gigantea'

J. Smith

HCC

1980

371

Den. striolatum 'Lesley'

I. Brewster

HCC

1981

382

Den bigibbum var. superbum 'Blue Horizon'

J.Mackinney

AD

1982

388

Den. Rachelle Simpson 'Qlander'

S. Hayden

HCC

1982

392

Den. Hilda Poxon 'The Lodge'

Mr & Mrs R. Rankine

HCC

1982

425

Sarco. Fitzhart 'Wollumbin'

B. Simpson

HCC

1982

454

Den. falcorostrum 'Anembo'

E. Gogerly

AM

1983

473

Den. Bardo Rose 'Bronilyn'

J.Smith

HCC

1983

492

Den. Hilda Poxon 'Gold Star'

J. Smith

AD

1984

496

Sarco. hartmannii 'Sylvanvale'

K. Wilson

HCC

1984

527

Sarco. hartmannii 'George'

G. Colthup

AM

1985

20 or more years later some of these plants are still seen as winners on show benches or appear as parents in nursery catalogues - they have been good enough to stand the test of time.. but what became of the others?

Neville Roper
Sept 2003