Caladenia sp. in Black Hill, Morialta and Horsnell Gully Conservation Parks
Black Hill Conservation Park
photo from 1999.
The orchid family is the largest family in the world with about 500 to 800 genera and around 30,000 species, with about 80 genera in Australia.
We have terristrial orchids in our Parks, which means they grow in the ground, rather than the kind which grow in trees. Many of the orchids have a very high level on dependance on other organisms for survival, some having a relationship with a specific species of insect for pollination, others needing specific micro-organisms to allow their roots to take up nutrients, or to allow seeds to germinate successfully.
The name Caladenia is from two Greek words; kalos meaning beautiful, and aden meaning a gland. Caladenias are generally known as spider orchids.
King spider-orchid A large hairy leaf grows up to 12 cm long and 18 mm wide. The distinctive flower is held on a haity stalk up to 45 cm high, occassionally there may be more than one flower. The flowers can be up to 7 cm long, they have a most distinctive shape, while viewed close up, the cream, maroon and green colouring is quite striking, they can be easily overlooked in the bush. There are some locations where the density of plants is quite high.
New page added 10 April 2009
Sources: e-Flora of SA, Wikipedia, Encyclopeadia of Australian Plants, PlantNet.
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