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Caladenia flaccida facts for kids

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Flaccid spider orchid
Scientific classification
  • Calonema flaccidum (D.L.Jones) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
  • Calonema flaccidum (D.L.Jones) Szlach.
  • Calonemorchis flaccida (D.L.Jones) Szlach.
  • Jonesiopsis flaccida (D.L.Jones) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.

Caladenia flaccida, commonly known as the flaccid spider orchid, is a plant in the orchid family Orchidaceae and is endemic to eastern Australia. It is a ground orchid with a single hairy leaf and up to three cream-coloured, pinkish or red flowers with long, thread-like, glandular tips on the sepals and petals.


Caladenia flaccida is a terrestrial, perennial, deciduous, herb with an underground tuber and a single, dull green, densely hairy, linear leaf 120–180 mm (5–7 in) long and 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) wide. Up to three cream-coloured, pinkish or red flowers are borne on a thin, wiry spike 120–230 mm (5–9 in) high. The sepals and petals are linear in shape near their base but suddenly taper after about one-fifth of their length to a hairy, thread-like glandular tail. The dorsal sepal is 60–90 mm (2–4 in) long, about 2 mm (0.08 in) wide near the base. The lateral sepals are a similar size and shape to the dorsal sepal and the petals are slightly shorter. The labellum is narrow heart-shaped, about 7–10 mm (0.3–0.4 in) long and 5.5–6.5 mm (0.2–0.3 in) wide and cream-coloured with red markings or completely red. The labellum curves forward and has broad, white-tipped teeth on the sides and two rows of crowded, cream-coloured, stalked calli along its mid-line, decreasing in size towards the tip. Flowering occurs from August to October.

Taxonomy and naming

Caladenia flaccida was first formally described by David Jones in 1991 and the description was published in Australian Orchid Research. The specific epithet (flaccida) is a Latin word meaning "weak" or "drooping", referring to the drooping sepals and petals.

Distribution and habitat

Flaccid spider orchid grows on ridges and slopes in Callitris forest in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and possibly Victoria.

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