Wine-lipped Spider-orchid Arachnorchis oenochila

syn. Caladenia oenochila
In 2002 this was the first and only I had found of this Spider orchid species. It was right next to the path in Baluk Willam Flora Reserve. Having such inconspicuous leaves it would be generally hard to spot amongst the grass. It was also the first "find" coming to this reserve. Unfortunately being the only flower in 2002 it did not set seed and in 2003 it did not flower.

Thanks to Anthony Nimbs of Parks Victoria for help with its identification. A few sources from the web list this orchid from vulnerable to critically endangered. Some references also call this Caladenia lindleyana (Lindley's Spider orchid) or Red-Lipped orchid so I'm not quite sure which is correct. A similar orchid is the rare Caladenia leptoclavia.

In the spring of 2003 I returned and found many of these orchids around the park. With so many it was possible to see a fair bit of variation in color, some had very dark red "lips" (labellum) while for others it was quite pale. The rows of calli were always red and so were the "combs".

Flowering Time Flower Numbers Maximum Height Flower Size
Spring
September and October
1 to 2 flowers 48cm to top of dorsal petal sepals and petals to 55mm long/high

Spider Orchid in 2002
54.5KB 832x726
Lightly colored with red
52.9KB 768x1024
Rear view
101KB 768x1024
Two red-lipped orchids
62.4KB 680x512
Spiders in the sunshine
91.1KB 1024x768
Red labellum less curved
24.5KB 512x512
Pale labellum
88KB 768x1024
5 flowers, 3 plants
106KB 768x1024
Top view with bud
39.4KB 680x512
Fly having a feed
39.2KB 680x512


Visitors: 5672
home