Spider Orchids in the hills

in orchids •  25 days ago  (edited)

Spider Orchids (Caladenia species) are a strange looking group of native Australian plants.

The top pic is of a King Spider orchid (Caladenia tentaculata). The bottom pic is a Narrow Lipped Spider orchid (Caladenia leptochila).

They're a confusing bunch to identify but the most obvious way to tell them apart is the position of the lower petals — I call them ''legs".

The King Spider orchid sits with its legs demurely crossed, while the Narrow Lipped Spider orchid holds them proudly (if not embarrassingly) upwards.

I took the pics yesterday during a bushfood foraging trip that we hosted at Hale Conservation Park in the Mt. Lofty Ranges.

There are four species of Spider Orchids there but the other two are a bit more subtle in their identification.

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I have to get out more, didn't realise we had these.

Not long til they're finished for this year @mattclarke

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Orchids are such interesting plants! Cool to read about the differences between these 2. :))

They're amazingly complex. Have you seen them under UV light?

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No! I haven't! What happens?

They have all these cool patterns of lines and shapes. Insects see in UV and these guide them to the right parts of the orchid for pollination

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