Australian Orchid Foundation


Project: 351/2023



New Autoclave for the Les Nesbitt Orchid Propagation Facility.

Institution: Secretary, Native Orchid Society of South Australis (NOSSA) P.O. Box 14, Kensington Park SA 5068


New autoclave for NOSSA’s Les Nesbitt Orchid Propagation Facility.

We are very excited to have our brand new Hatmed autoclave on site. NOSSA (Native Orchid Society SA) has been establishing a native orchid nursery, the ‘Les Nesbitt Orchid Propagation Facility’, since mid-2021, to grow native orchids.

The concept was to give opportunities to members to grow orchids as many live with minimal garden spaces, to teach people how to grow orchids, and to contribute to the many revegetation projects that are now adding orchids.

We had a very limited budget and began with second hand equipment that causes excitement when its serviced – (“oh this was new at the Repat, a hospital that has now closed)! One of the essential items was an autoclave that decided to crash just as our wonderful service provider entered hospital for surgery! This led to a desperate application to AOF for a new autoclave to continue the sterilization of equipment, media (agar), and contaminated flasks etc. Our intent is to repair the old one to help with the workload but – oh – the wonders of the new model are fabulous!

It is quieter, cycles are shorter, everything is bright and shiny, racks improve our loading options, cycles are recorded, easy to use, if anything isn’t right it will not start (which is just about the best feature of them all), and its still small enough to work in our space and be readily moved if we move locations. A careful look will indicate that the autoclave is housed in our growing room.

 With so many advantages it will be easier to train people on the correct use of the autoclave and involve more members in the complete range of skills required for growing the native orchids for revegetation projects, plant and tuber sales and member sales.
At the time of writing, we have only run a test liquid cycle for analysis, but by the time this article is seen, we will be busy catching up on producing media, making up flasks for germinating orchid seeds, sterilizing equipment, and generally providing the means to germinate and grow orchids ready for de-flasking and potting out the seedlings in our shade houses.

We are extremely grateful to AOF for funding the autoclave – the autoclave is critical to the success of the new ‘Les Nesbitt Orchid Propagation Facility’ and we have seriously missed having an autoclave available.