Plants of
South Australia
Caladenia oraria
Coastal 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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Caladenia from the Greek 'callos' 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. Oraria from the Latin orarius meaning "pertaining to the coast".

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of Yorke Peninsula. Growing in coastal sand heath with limestone outcropping. Native. Rare in South Australia.
Herbarium region: Yorke Peninsula
NRM region: Northern and Yorke
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Variable in size, shape and colour, this species has one of the smaller flowers of the spider-orchids. Plants are 10-30 cm tall with a slender hairy stalk which bears 1 or 3 flowers. A single narrow basal leaf 4-12 cm long appears during late autumn or early winter. Flowers are 20-30 mm across and range in colour from pink with red striping to white. Both sepals and petals lack clubs or glandular hairs and labellum margins are mainly entire. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are brown, papery ellipsoid capsule. Seeds are very small brown ellipsoid seed with a long cylindrical translucent brown mesh-like covering.

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.