Wild Orchid Watch began with South Australian Citizen Scientists Robert and Rosalie Lawrence. In 2011 they published 'Start with the Leaves' a guide to the orchids and lilies of the Adelaide Hills, and South Australia's Native Orchids Identification DVD. Rosalie and Robert were inspired to create an Australian orchid identification website; with support from the State Herbarium of South Australian, Australian Orchid Foundation and the Australian orchid enthusiast community they spent 5 years planning the Wild Orchid Watch (WOW) project. In 2017, in conjunction with The University of Adelaide and TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network), Wild Orchid Watch won an Inspiring Australia Science Engagement Programme Grant.
The WOW project will run out of The University of Adelaide from 2018 to 2020. From mid 2018 to the end of 2019, the app and database will be developed. We would love input from orchid societies and enthusiasts, so please contact us if you are interested in beta testing and/or sharing your orchid photos for the development of the app.
In 2020 the WOW app will be publically released, and the online tools will be available for use in the field and office. The data collected will be publically accessible for research, policy and planning purposes, and ultimately will help to resolve conservation and taxonomic questions about Australian orchids.