Environment SA News

Beauty emerges from the ashes

Evidence of one of the benefits of fire in the landscape is in full bloom at Belair, where masses of tiny rabbit orchids are in flower.

Beauty emerges from the ashes

The area was part of a prescribed burn by the Department for Environment and Water last autumn.

Hundreds of rabbit orchids (Leptoceras menziesii) have been seen in the area of the burn. Although the plant is relatively common it does not flower easily, and it is unusual to see it flowering in such great numbers.

Fire regimes stimulate the regeneration and flowering of many Australian plants, and according to the Native Orchid Society of SA, the orchids’ flowering is likely to have been initiated by the smoke compounds produced by the fire.

Other species responding well in the burn area include tiny carnivorous sundews and several native lily and grass species.