Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids  

About the key

Background | Map coverage | Acknowledgements | System requirements | More information | Copyright notice

Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids
Authors: DL Jones, T Hopley and SM Duffy

Background information

This key to the orchids of northern Australian tropical rainforests provides the orchid module of the Australian Tropical Rainforest Key (RFK) developed over the past 20 years by Bernie Hyland and collaborators.

The orchid module has been developed through capitalising on the investment made by both ABRS and the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (previously Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research) in the work prepared for the key to Australian orchids at generic level, Australian Orchid Genera. Taking advantage of the knowledge and enthusiasm in the orchid team, we engaged technical assistant Tara Hopley to work with orchid expert David Jones and graphic designer Siobhan Duffy, to develop the orchid module of the Rainforest Key.

Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids uses the software package Lucid, and builds upon the character set developed for orchid genera with appropriate translation for tropical rainforest species. It incorporates all species currently recognised (c. 224 species) in northern Australia, and as such is a companion product to the CD-published Australian Orchid Genera. There is some non-rainforest species included in the key because they occur within the Australian Tropical Rainforest Key's distribution area (see map below).

Effort has been made to provide information relating to alternative taxonomies so that the user who has some familiarity with orchids should be able to find information on a particular species no matter what name they have known it as. Common names are included and can be used to search for species.

Each species is illustrated with coloured images to enhance identification. If you have photos you believe would assist in successful identification of these species and you would be happy to have them included in the key (with due acknowledgement) please contact Siobhan Duffy.

Rainforest area of Australia covered in the key

The area covered in this key is based on the Australian Tropical Rainforest Key's distribution area: Australian tropical rainforest which stretches from the lowland and montane tropical rain forests of north east Queensland through to the drier and monsoonal rain forests of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley district of Western Australia.


Information for the species descriptions was sourced from:

Genera descriptions were taken directly from:

We'd like to acknowledge:


System requirements for Lucid v 3.5 Key Matrix Java Applet

Operating System: 2000/XP/Vista, OSX, Linux and Solaris
System Memory: 256MB RAM or higher is recommended

Browser requirements
It is recommended that you run the key using a modern web browser that supports JavaScript and Java Applets. The following browsers have been tested:

Due to the interactive nature of the content, some browsers and pop-up blockers may prevent the fact sheets from loading. If you experience this, please set your browser or pop-up blocker to allow this content.
Please note: Windows XP Users you may also change your IE settings: open IE, go to Tools – Internet Options – Advanced, scroll down to the Security section and tick the checkbox Allow active content to run in files on My Computer. Additionally, certain settings under Tools – Internet Options Security – Custom level – ActiveX controls and plug-ins, may need to be changed.

Java information
The Lucid3 interactive key will run embedded within a web browser as a Java applet Player. Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.4.2 (1.5 or greater recommended) must be installed on your computer for the Lucid3 Applet Player to run successfully. Visit the Java web site at: to check what Java you are running and if required download and install (make sure to uninstall old versions) the latest Java Runtime Environment version. [ Please note: JRE 1.6.11 contains a bug that affects the Lucid Applet Player, please upgrade to the newer JRE version to avoid this issue].

Note to Macintosh users
OSX comes pre-installed with the JRE and is accessible using Safari. Ensure you have the latest version of JRE by running the software update utility. Internet Explorer version 5.2.3, which is the last version of IE for the Mac, does not support JRE, nor does Opera., however, has opted (at least since February 2007) to include the Java Embedding Plugin by default in all of its products (Firefox, Mozilla, or Camino browsers). This will enable them to access JRE and run the key. However, if you require the Java Embedding Plugin, see the links below for information regarding installation, compatibility and updates for the plugin. The Java Embedding Plugin does not work with Explorer or Opera.
Information and Installation instructions for the Java Embedding Plugin for Mac OSX can be found at:
To download the plugin directly, go to the Java Embedding Plugin Summary at:

For more information about Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids please contact:

Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research
Australian National Herbarium
CSIRO Plant Industry
GPO Box 1600, Canberra ACT 2601
Email: Siobhan Duffy

For more information about Lucid (the software running this package):

Lucid3 (Lucid version 3) is software for creating and using interactive identification keys.
Lucid is developed by the Centre for Biological Information Technology at the University of Queensland in Australia.
Visit the Lucidcentral web site for more information on Lucid and Lucid3.

Copyright statement

© CPBR 2010
All rights reserved.
Use of this program constitutes acceptance of the licence agreement accompanying this package.
Copyright in the Product is and remains the property of the Director of National Parks and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation through its Division of Plant Industry which together comprise the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR).
Copyright in the Software is and remains the property of the University of Queensland.
Data and/or illustrations are included in this product with the permission of original authors who retain the copyright therein.

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