Plants of
South Australia
Caladenia calcicola
Eastern Limestone Spider-orchid,
Limestone Spider-orchid
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Prior names

Calonemorchis calcicola

Arachnorchis calcicola

Calonema calcicolum

Common names

Eastern Limestone Spider-orchid

Limestone 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. Calcicola from the Latin 'calx' meaning lime and 'colo' meaning to inhabit, referring to its habitat in sandy soil on limestone.

Distribution and status

Found in the South-east in South Australia, growing on shallow, sandy soil on limestone ridges in heathy woodland. Also found in south-western Victoria. Native. Endangered in South Australia. Endangered in Victoria. Vulnerable in Australia (EPBC Act).
Herbarium region: South Eastern
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect terrestrial orchid to 28 cm high in flower, with a single, long,densely hairy lanceolate leaf to 15 cm long. Inflorescence on a slender hairy stem, with one flower, rarely two, pale-yellow with red median stripe. Both sepals and petals are pale yellow, glossy with variable reddish stripes. Sepals have prominent yellow to red clubs and the maroon labellum has glossy, crowded calli. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are brown, hairy papery ellipsoid capsule containing numerous tiny seeds.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and January. 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.