Friday, 6 December 2013

Tassie orchid ‘app’

With more than 320 detailed photographs, Orchids of Tasmania is a treasure for the orchidmaniac Down Under. But it’s not a book, it’s an ‘app’, so it’s ideal for techies - and most affordable at around £1.99 in the UK, for example.

It describes 184 of approximately 220 orchid species native to Tasmania, Australia, including 70 species particular to that state. With a description of the botany of each species along with the preferred habitat, main flowering period and confusing species the app assists in identifying both common as well as rarer species. A distribution map highlights where in Tasmania each species typically occurs while a search bar allows species to be located by either scientific or common name.

As an aid to identification orchids may also be browsed by genus as well as flower colour. Orchids listed as threatened at both the state and national level are highlighted with a link to relevant sites for further species information. A glossary as well as photographic descriptions provide information regarding orchid anatomy and reproduction.

The app, from William Higham, also has relevance to mainland Australia with 114, 94, 76 and 43 of the orchids represented being also found in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

Caption: the Caladenia carnea, or Pink Fingers, native to Tasmania

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