Plants of
South Australia
Caladenia gladiolata
Orchidaceae
Bayonet Spider-orchid
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

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. Gladiolata from the Latin 'gladius' meaning a sword, referring to the bayonet-shaped glandular tips of the sepals and petals.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and restricted to the southern Flinders Ranges and the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, growing Eucalyptus leucoxylon, E. fasciculosa and E. cladocalyx Woodland on sandy loam soils with scattered shale and quartzite. Native. Endangered in South Australia. Endangered in Australia (EPBC Act).
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Terrestrial orchid with a flowering stem to 20 cm high, green with reddish markings. Leaves to 6 cm in length, green, shortly hairy. Flowers usually single in tones of green and red with brown bayonet-shaped clubs on sepals and petals, strongly scented (smelling spicy or musk-like). Segments are 2–4 cm long, green with a red longitudinal stripe, loosely spreading (drooping in larger flowers) and over half of the segments are made up of large, flattened, brown, glandular clubs which emit the fragrance. Labellum small, ovate, yellow-green and red in colour, minutely denticulate margins that have four rows of dark red clubbed calli. Flowering between September and October. Fruits are pale-brown hairy, papery ellipsoid capsule containing numerous tiny seeds.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and November. 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.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
6-Nov-2005J. Quarmby
Southern Lofty
1-Nov-2016N/C-80°C
4-Nov-2005J. Quarmby
Flinders Ranges
1-Nov-2016N/C-80°C
2 pods6-Nov-2007J. Quarmby
Southern Lofty
1-Nov-2016N/C-80°C
9 pods2-Nov-2005J. Quarmby
Flinders Ranges
1-Nov-2016N/C-80°C
BGA67,000 (0.024 g)211-Oct-2019Nursery-SC
Southern Lofty
24-Jun-2020N/C-18°C
BGA58,800 (0.021 g)425-Oct-2018Scott Creek CP
Southern Lofty
24-Jun-2020N/C-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.