MPI PROJECT: NZ’s Missing Orchid Species

July 2022: Earlier in the year OCNZ president Glenys MacRae wrote an article for Orchids 2022 about the project to rationalise the list of orchid species held by the Ministry for Primary Industries. The article talks about some orchid names being added to the Landcare Research Plant Name Database. However, that database has recently been decommissioned with the new platform called Biota of New Zealand, which gives scientific names and classification of bacteria, fungi, land invertebrates and plants.

To search a species enter the genus, for example, Masdevallia.  A list of all the Masdevallias in the database will come up, including the species Masdevallia picea, which was added earlier this year. If you click on that name you will see that the Biostatus source is MacRae G (2022).  When you click on ‘source’, the full citation will come up as MacRae, G. 2022: Orchid Council of New Zealand (OCNZ) checklist of exotic orchid species in New Zealand (unpub.).

Glenys also reports that at the recent project governance meeting, project leader, Murray Dawson reported that he has a contract from MPI to ‘audit’ the Plant Biosecurity Index during June 2022. This involves checking some 30,000 names to identify any errors, and to state if the species are native or exotic. This is good news for orchid growers as there are a number of spelling errors on the PBI affecting orchids, as well as other taxa, which Murray will address.