Tag Archives: Caladenia

Caladenia leptochila aka Arachnorchis leptochila – The Narrow-lipped Spider-orchid

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Caladenia (Arachnorchis) leptochila aka Narrow-lipped Spider-orchid, Delicate-lipped Caladenia
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Caladenia (Arachnorchis) leptochila aka Narrow-lipped Spider-orchid, Delicate-lipped Caladenia
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Caladenia (Arachnorchis) leptochila aka Narrow-lipped Spider-orchid, Delicate-lipped Caladenia
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Caladenia (Arachnorchis) leptochila aka Narrow-lipped Spider-orchid, Delicate-lipped Caladenia

Caladenia (Arachnorchis) leptochila aka Narrow-lipped Spider-orchid, Delicate-lipped Caladenia
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Subtribe: Caladeniinae
Morialta Conservation Park – September 2013 – mild, wet conditions on Central Track

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

There is a lot of confusion with plant taxonomy at the moment, and this is one of the victims – Some call it Caladenia leptochila, and others use the name Arachnorchis leptochila ssp leptochila. It often grows nearby to other species such as Caladenia tentaculata, but it is much more slender and the scented tentacled petals, or segments,  curve more vertically upwards. It has a hairy stem and is 15-45cm high.
Its flowers can be seen usually on solitary spikes in Spring, from September to November in the Mount Lofty Ranges. According to NOSSA, it prefers “leached, stony soils”. I first encountered it in close proximity to Caladenia tentaculata and at first thought it must be an emerging flower of that species, but after walking around the gravelly, gentle slope, I saw there were clearly two species – I was so stunned by these two species and the others I saw that day! One of the greatest days of my life and my brother and I still refer to that day as Orchid Day! See my other posts on Spider-orchid species here:

https://sanatureteers.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/caladenia-tentaculata-a-sophisticated-mimic/

https://sanatureteers.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/veined-caladenia/

https://sanatureteers.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/little-desert-spider-orchid/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caladenia

http://bie.ala.org.au/species/Narrow-lip+Spider+Orchid
http://bie.ala.org.au/species/Arachnorchis+leptochila
http://www.johnwamsley.com/november28.html

http://nossa.org.au/tag/arachnorchis-leptochila/

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Caladenia tentaculata – A Sophisticated Mimic

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Caladenia (Arachnorchis) tentaculata aka Mantis Orchid, or King Spider Orchid
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Caladenia (Arachnorchis) tentaculata aka Mantis Orchid, or King Spider Orchid

Caladenia (Arachnorchis) tentaculata aka Mantis Orchid, King Spider Orchid and a host of other names
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiospermae
Class: Liliopsida (?) Monocots (?)
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Scott Creek Conservation Park – October 11th, 2014 – warm, dry conditions on Currawong Ridge Track

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

I took these pictures on a warm, windy day and these Orchids are a striking sight – waving about. The Australian bush is full of spiky-looking critters, especially insects, and this Spider Orchid is designed to attract just such a critter, using its critter-like features, as well as its pheromones! – The tentacles have a wasp-like scent that draws the male Thynnine Wasp in to pollinate with the “apparent” flightless female it sees in the shape of the middle of the flower. The Orchid smears pollen on the Wasp when it attempts to mate, and the pollen is carried to the next Orchid flower by the unsatisfied Wasp, where the pollen is rubbed off, completing the transfer and enabling the fertilization of the flower – A complex, marvellous deception that demonstrates the interwoven evolution of these species by their mutual dependence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caladenia
http://biology-assets.anu.edu.au/hosted_sites/orchid_pollination/

Pink Fingers Orchid

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Caladenia carnea aka Pink Fingers Orchid
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Class: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Cromer Conservation Park – August 27th, 2014 – pleasant conditions

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz

This is the type species for Caladenia – It is quite a common species, but soon may be subdivided into a number of different species as more work is done – It occurs in Eastern Australia and Tasmania – There is some variation in colour and can be easily mistaken for several other similar Orchids.

Pink Fairies In Aldinga Scrub – A Caladenia Orchid

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Caladenia latifolia aka Pink Fairies, Pink Fairy Orchid
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Class: Monocots (or Liliopsida…?!)
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Aldinga Scrub – August 16th, 2014 – overcast conditions

Another Orchid that can be overlooked in passing because of its resemblance to the more common Glossodia major, or Purple Cockatoo, aka Waxlip, Orchid – It was a very exhilarating find for my brother and I – It was very close to the Cladia ferdinandii (Coral Lichen) enclosure – For more information on this species, look here: http://www.oznativeplants.com/plantdetail/Pink-Fairy-Orchid/Caladenia/latifolia/zz.html

Veined Caladenia

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Caladenia (Arachnorchis) reticulata aka Veined Caladenia
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Anstey Hill Conservation Park – September 6th, 2014 – warm, dry conditions on high meadows

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz

Even though these orchids occurred side-by-side, I am not entirely convinced all these pics are of the same species – Spider orchids are amazing plants to photograph with a macro lense – Caladenia reticulata is pollinated by Phymatothynnus victor, a Wasp, which is attracted to the flower  – The Orchid uses a remarkable combination of appearance and scent to convince the Wasp it is a potential mate.