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Caladenia roei facts for kids

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Clown orchid
Caladenia Roei.jpg
Caladenia roei in the Coalseam Conservation Park
Scientific classification
  • Calonema roei (Benth.) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
  • Phlebochilus roei (Benth.) Szlach.
  • Calonemorchis roei (Benth.) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
  • Jonesiopsis roei (Benth.) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.

Caladenia roei is a species of orchid endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is also known as the common clown orchid, clown orchid, ant orchid, man orchid and jack-in-the-box. It has a single erect, hairy leaf and up to three greenish-yellow and red flowers with a relatively broad labellum. It is a common orchid throughout the south-west and is especially common on granite outcrops.


Caladenia roei is a terrestrial, perennial, deciduous, herb with an underground tuber and a single erect, hairy leaf, 60–150 mm (2–6 in) long and about 5 mm (0.2 in) wide. Up to three greenish-yellow and red flowers 30–40 mm (1–2 in) long, 20–30 mm (0.8–1 in) wide are borne on a stalk 120–300 mm (5–10 in) tall. The sepals have thick, yellowish-brown, club-like glandular ends 3–4 mm (0.1–0.2 in) long. The dorsal sepal is erect, 15–20 mm (0.6–0.8 in) long, about 2 mm (0.08 in) wide and often curves gently forward. The lateral sepals and petals are about the same size as the dorsal sepal and turn obliquely downward and form a crucifix-like shape. The labellum is 8–11 mm (0.3–0.4 in) long, 13–16 mm (0.5–0.6 in) wide and greenish-yellow with a small red tip which curls under. The sides of the labellum are smooth, lacking teeth but there is a dense band of dark reddish-purple, calli up to 1.5 mm (0.06 in) long, in the middle of the labellum. Flowering occurs from August to October.

Taxonomy and naming

Caladenia roei was first described in 1873 by Alex George and the description was published in Flora Australiensis. The specific epithet (roei) honours John Septimus Roe.

Distribution and habitat

The clown orchid is found across a wide area of the south-west of Western Australia from as far north as the Murchison River to as far east as Ravensthorpe where it grows in a range of habitats but is especially common on granite outcrops.


Caladenia roei is classified as "not threatened" by the Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.

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