Kath Alcock paintings: 5
Caladenia dilatata var. stricta
Stiff Green-comb Spider-orchid
Caladenia from the Greek 'kallos' meaning beauty and 'aden' meaning a gland, referring to the colourful labellum and the glistening glands at the base of the column that are present in many of the species. Stricta from Latin meaning draw together, referring to the dorsal and lateral sepals which sometime crosses each other.
Distribution and status
Found in the southern part of South Australia from the Eyre Peninsula to the South-East, growing in mallee and woodland on well-drained sandy soil often over limestone. Also found in Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Terrestrial orchid to 40 cm tall in flower. Leaf single, linear, to 100 mm long and 15 mm wide, dull green, hairy, with reddish blotches near its base. Flower single, to 40 mm across, pale green with central stripes along the sepals and petals borne on a spike 40 cm tall. Dorsal sepal erect, to 33 mm long and 3 mm wide, curves gently forwards. Lateral sepals about the same dimensions as the dorsal sepal and are usually curved downwards and sometimes cross each other. Petals to 23 mm long and 3 mm wide, held horizontally or curve downwards. Labellum to 17 mm long and 16 mm wide, pale green with a pale yellow central region and a dark red tip, margins with 5-7 thin green teeth up to 5 mm long. Tip of the labellum curls under with four to six rows of thick, crowded, reddish-black calli along the mid-line. Flowering between September to November. Fruits are pale-brown hairy, papery ellipsoid capsule containing numerous tiny seeds.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between October and December. Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules. Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.