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Caladenia gracilis R.Br.
Family Orchidaceae
Common name: Musky Caladenia

Caladenia gracilis R.Br. APNI*

Synonyms: Stegostyla gracilis (R.Br.) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*

Description: Terrestrial herb.

Leaf linear, to 30 cm long and 6 mm wide, thickened and sparsely hairy.

Inflorescence to 40 cm high, rarely > 6-flowered, sparsely hairy. Flowers with musky to soapy scents. Sepals and lateral petals to 1.5 cm long, the outer surfaces with sessile or stalked glandular hairs, purplish to greenish brown, the inner surfaces white often with pinkish or bronzy markings; dorsal sepal cucullate, hooding the column. Labellum ovate, 7–9 mm long, to 7 mm wide, obscurely 3-lobed, white towards the base with a reddish purple spot on the tip; lateral lobes with crenulate margins; midlobe margins toothed with short, triangular calli bearing smooth to papillose stalks and narrowing granular heads. Central calli in 4 rows, bearing clubbed, granular, yellow to purple heads becoming shorter towards the tip until sessile and crowded. Column with broad, rounded, apical wings and reddish brown blotches; basal glands absent.

Photo J. Plaza

Flowering: September–November

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in drier sclerophyll forest and woodland, more common on ridges and slopes; south from the New England region.
NSW subdivisions: NT, CT, ST, ?NWS, CWS, SWS
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas. S.A.
AVH map***

In A Complete Guide to Native Orchids of Australia 3rd edn (2021) by D.L. Jones, Caladenia gracilis R.Br. is endemic to Tasmania. Specimens attributed to C. gracilis R.Br. in NSW are probably all applicable to Caladenia moschata (D.L.Jones) G.N.Backh. This needs to be verified and updated within the herbarium collection in the near future. [A.Orme 25 Aug 2022.]

Text by P. Bernhardt
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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