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Genus Caladenia Family Orchidaceae

Synonyms: Arachnorchis D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*
Calonema (Lindl.) Szlach. APNI*
Calonemorchis Szlach. APNI*
Drakonorchis Hopper & A.P.Br. APNI*
Petalochilus R.S.Rogers APNI*
Stegostyla D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*
Jonesiopsis Szlach. APNI*

Description: Terrestrial herbs, sympodial; roots few and inconspicuous, filamentous; tubers enclosed in upper half by a persistent, shaggy fibrous sheath (tunica).

Leaves basal, 1 per shoot, convolute, sparsely to densely covered in patent trichomes.

Inflorescence racemose, 1–several-flowered, terminal; flowers resupinate. Dorsal sepal free, similar to or slightly shorter and narrower than lateral sepals. Lateral sepals free or rarely basally fused. Lateral petals free, similar to, or longer than dorsal sepal. Labellum free, attached at base of column [or rarely to column foot] by a short claw; lamina strongly to weakly 3-lobed, with weakly to strongly toothed margins, with few to many stalked calli, usually in 2–many longitudinal rows. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings fused to column, expansive in upper half, narrow to broad. Column foot absent [or stalk-like and about half as long as column]. Anther erect, parallel to the axis of the column, persistent. Pollinia 4, soft and mealy. Stigma entire. Rostellum ventral.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 243 species, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands. Australia: c. 237 species (all species endemic), all States except N.T.

We have chosen to adopt the broad circumscription of Caladenia proposed by Hopper & Brown (2004, Australian Systematic Botany 17: 171-240) rather than the narrow circumscription recommended by Jones et al. (2001, Orchadian 13: 389-419). Consequently, we do not recognise the following genera segregated from Caladenia by Jones et al. (2001), Jones & Clements (2002, Orchadian 14: 33-42) and Jones & Clements (2003, Orchadian 14: 179-183): Petalochilus, Stegostyla, Arachnorchis, Drakonorchis, Jonesiopsis. Our reasons for this decision are essentially the same as those discussed in detail by Hopper & Brown (2004): their broadly circumscribed Caladenia is monophyletic and needed relatively few name changes in order to be implemented. It is thus logically defensible and preserves nomenclatural stability. (P.H. Weston March 2007)

Text by P. Bernhardt (1993); edited by PH Weston (March 2007)
Taxon concept: Hopper & Brown (2004, Australian Systematic Botany 17: 171-240)

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Caladenia actensis,    Caladenia aestiva,    Caladenia alpina,    Caladenia amnicola,    Caladenia armata,    Caladenia atrovespa,    Caladenia attenuata,    Caladenia branwhitei,    Caladenia cadyi,    Caladenia callitrophila,    Caladenia capillata,    Caladenia cardiochila,    Caladenia gracillima,    Caladenia mentiens,    Caladenia montana,    Caladenia oreophila,    Caladenia orestes,    Caladenia osmera,    Caladenia peisleyi,    Caladenia praecox,    Caladenia rileyi,    Caladenia rosella,    Caladenia sp. 'Inland NSW',    Caladenia subtilis,    Caladenia ustulata,    Caladenia venusta,    Caladenia whiteheadii

 Key to the species 
1Flowers 'spidery', sepals and lateral petals with narrow elongated tails or strongly acuminate apices that often form swollen apical clubs; column base often bearing a pair of swollen yellowish glands2
Flowers compact, not 'spidery', sepals and lateral petals obtuse to acute, without elongated tails; column base never bearing a pair of swollen glands18
2Sepal tails filiform3
Sepal tails thickened into globose, conical to linear clubs
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9
3Bases of sepals and lateral petals so narrow-linear they appear almost continuous with much acuminate-filamentous tails (tails often forming an entangled web); base of the column lacks paired glands, often hairy4
Base of sepals and lateral petals stiffer and broader so they do not appear continuous with acuminate-filamentous tails (tails rarely forming an entangled web); base of column with 2 yellowish paired glands, not hairy
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5
4Labellum reduced (up to 10 mm long and 3 mm wide), without distinct lobes, ovate-oblong; basal calli on stalks less than 1 mm longCaladenia filamentosa
Labellum larger (up to 10 long and 6.5 mm wide), 3-lobed, linear to cordate; basal calli on stalks more than 1 mm long
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Caladenia flaccida
5Sepals short (less than 3.5 cm long) with short tails or just strongly acuminate6
Sepals and lateral petals long (4–8 cm) with long tails
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7
6Labellum cream-yellow with reddish margins and striationsCaladenia tessellata
Labellum green with maroon tip
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Caladenia concinna
7Labellum basal margins toothed; sepal and lateral petal tails densely covered with long, dark hairs8
Labellum basal margins entire; sepals and lateral petal tails sparsely covered with short hairs-papillae
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Caladenia clavigera
8Sepals more than 5 cm long; labellum creamish yellow, marginal teeth usually less than 3 mm longCaladenia arenaria
Sepals less than 5 cm long; labellum dark purple, marginal teeth about 3 mm long with acute curving tips
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Caladenia concolor
9Labellum broad-cordate with basal margins entire; clubs of lateral sepals often much smaller (reduced to minute knobs) than the club on the dorsal sepalCaladenia clavigera
Labellum ovate or strongly 3-lobed with basal margins sparsely to densely toothed; clubs of lateral sepals near the same size and shape as the club on the dorsal sepal
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10
10Lateral petals ending in swollen clubs similar in size and shape to those on the tips of the lateral sepalsCaladenia leptoclavia
Lateral petals ending in flat acute tips
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11
11Labellum 3-lobed (lateral lobes greenish), marginal teeth on lateral lobes long (curved and comb-like); central calli densely packed (heads usually swollen, golfstick-like)12
Labellum ovate to triangular (base cream-yellow), marginal teeth short (linear to falcate) forming a continuous 'fringe' to labellum tip; central calli in regular parallel rows (heads reduced, linear)
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15
12Labellum about as long as broad (c. 10 mm long and 10 mm wide) with short midlobe, marginal combs reduced and blunted; sepals to 2 cm with terminal clubs taking no more than 10% of the total length of the sepalCaladenia concinna
Labellum longer than broad by 2–5 mm with elongated midlobe, marginal combs long and acute; sepals much longer than 2 cm with terminal clubs taking up 25–33% the total length of each sepal
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13
13Sepals more than 5 cm long; inflorescence 30–45 cm highCaladenia tentaculata
Sepals less than 5 cm (to 4.5 cm); inflorescence less than 30 cm high
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14
14Central calli heads narrowing into short, hooked tips; sepals to 3 cm long (club usually a dull brown)Caladenia phaeoclavia
Central calli heads rounded and swollen; sepals 3.5–4.5 cm long (club usually green)
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Caladenia verrucosa
15Sepals 25–30 mm long, sepal clubs less than 10 mm long; flowering Sept.–Oct., from the coast to the inland plains, except for montane regions16
Sepals 30–50 mm long, sepal clubs 10–15 mm long; flowering Nov.– Jan., in montane regions
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17
16Sepal clubs 5–8 mm long, sepals and lateral petals stiffly spreading; leaf base constricted and woollyCaladenia stellata
Sepal clubs 3 mm long, sepals and lateral petals drooping, leaf base continuous and weakly covered in short hairs
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Caladenia sp. A sensu Harden (1993)
17Central calli with hooked heads shorter than calli stalks, marginal teeth coarse and curved narrow-triangular; sepals and lateral petals a pale yellowish greenCaladenia flavovirens
Central calli with linear curving heads longer than calli stalks, marginal teeth fine bristles; sepals and lateral petals yellowish green with reddish purple stripes
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Caladenia fitzgeraldii
18Dorsal sepal strongly incurved, tightly embracing the column (narrow cap to spreading bonnet) and flower buds always opening during the floral life span; upper surface of labellum ornamented with short calli that are often dark purplish with heads often overlapping, distinctly scaled or scabby-granular (marginal teeth often dark and warty)19
Dorsal sepal weakly incurved or spreading, or some flower buds never opening during the floral life span; upper surface of labellum variously ornamented but calli never dark purplish, heads rarely overlapping, usually not scaled or scabby-granular, (marginal teeth various but never dark and warty)
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27
19Labellum with central calli in 2 rows; calli heads overlapping, shiny scales extending to apexCaladenia congesta
Labellum with central calli in 4 rows; calli heads crowded (not overlapping) resembling granular to scabrous warts to extending to apex or apex lacking calli
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20
20Sepals and lateral petals 8–13 mm long, narrow, inner surfaces often pale green, yellow-brown or suffused with pink21
Sepals and lateral petals 14–20 mm long, broad, inner surfaces whitish
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24
21Labellum with lateral lobes prominent and margins entire; sepals and lateral petals often gold tinted, usually lacking darker tipsCaladenia transitoria
Labellum with lateral lobes obscure and margins toothed with calli; sepals and lateral petals often with purplish or brownish tips
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22
22Flowers white to yellow or greenish white, tips of sepals brownish23
Flowers white to pink, tips of sepals magenta
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Caladenia clarkiae
23Central calli extending onto the midlobe, crowdedCaladenia testacea
Central calli not extending onto the midlobe
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Caladenia hildae
24Leaf lanceolate; sepals with broadened tips, the dorsal sepal forming an expanded 'bonnet' over the columnCaladenia lyallii
Leaf narrow-linear; sepals with lanceolate tips, the dorsal sepal forming a narrower cap over the column
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25
25Labellum margins with stout teeth with scabrous stalks and swollen heads; inflorescence to 25 cm highCaladenia cucullata
Labellum margins bearing slender teeth with smooth-papillose stalks and narrowing heads; inflorescence to 30–40 cm high
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26
26Lateral sepals up to 5 mm longer than the conspicuously shorter dorsal sepal, labellum margins with long, finger-like teeth; leaf to 18 cm longCaladenia dimorpha
Length of all 3 sepals similar, c. 15 mm, labellum margins with short triangular teeth; leaf to 30 cm long
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Caladenia gracilis
27Flower buds fail to open throughout floral life span (segments enveloping column); labellum with central calli reduced to mere vestiges, dull and paleCaladenia cleistantha
Flower buds opening during floral life span (segments spreading away from column); labellum with central calli developed, often colourful
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28
28Labellum with central calli arranged in 2 or 3 parallel, rows (calli organised into single lines or compressed pairs); calli suberect to erect, stalks smooth with globose golfstick heads29
Labellum with central calli not arranged in 2 parallel rows (each 'row' not grading into 2 congested rows, calli not paired in each row); calli angled-curving, stalks often papillose with small pointed tips
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39
29Flowers blue to purplish blue (including hairs on outer surfaces), labellum with blue bands and central calli rows extending onto midlobe almost to tipCyanicula caerulea
Flowers never blue (including hairs on outer surfaces); labellum without blue bands (bands absent or pink-red) and central calli rows usually stopping before the midlobe
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30
30Labellum midlobe margin with a pair of much exaggerated calli or flat teeth flanking the base; each of these basal ornaments always the longest, broadest (often thickest and most colourful) marginal ornaments31
Labellum midlobe margins without a pair of much exaggerated calli or flat teeth flanking the base; basal ornaments not obviously the longest nor broadest (nor thickest and most colourful) marginal ornaments
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33
31Base of labellum midlobe margins flanked by a large pair of knobbed calli followed by 2 or 3 pairs of shorter marginal calliCaladenia curtisepala
Base of labellum midlobe margins flanked by a large pair of flat, irregular teeth the remainder of the midlobe margins entire to subentire
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32
32Flowers less than 15 mm diam., tips of lateral petals sharply curved; labellum midlobe narrow, lateral lobes (and anther cap) unblotched; scattered through damp heath and woodlandCaladenia alata
Flowers more than 20 mm diam., tips of lateral petals not sharply curved; labellum midlobe broad and irregular, lateral lobes (and anther cap) blotched purple; restricted to coastal sandy sites
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Caladenia hillmanii
33Sepals and lateral petals 5–7 mm long, outer surfaces covered with reddish brown glandular hairs; inflorescences to 15 cm long34
Sepals and lateral petals usually more than 7 mm long, outer surfaces with central lines of greenish glandular hairs; inflorescence often more than 15 cm long
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35
34Lateral sepals fused for 50–100% of their lengthCaladenia pusilla
Lateral sepals free
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Caladenia fuscata
35Labellum lamina with red transverse bars, midlobe broad-triangular36
Labellum lamina lacking red transverse bars, midlobe triangular
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38
36Central calli in 4–6 rows, midlobe margins with stalked teeth with rounded headsCaladenia quadrifaria
Central calli in 2 rows, midlobe margins with flat, irregular teeth
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37
37Central calli and labellum apex yellowish orange; sepals and lateral petals 13–20 mm long, pale to deep pink on inner surfaceCaledenia quadrifaria
Central calli and labellum apex yellow; sepals and lateral petals 8–15 mm long, white to pale pink on inner surface
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Caladenia carnea
38Marginal teeth of labellum midlobe short, blunt; column interior green splashed with redCaladenia picta
Marginal teeth of labellum midlobe elongated, acute, comb-like and undulating; column interior usually green
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Caladenia catenata
39Labellum bearing linear calli in 4–8 rows continuous with marginal fringe; flowers usually bluePheladenia deformis
Labellum bearing stout calli in a congested semicircle not continuous with few marginal calli; flowers usually pink
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Caladenia latifolia

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