The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas.
( click here
to see geographic restrictions).
The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Caladenia concolor
18 Jul 1997
Profile last updated:
14 Dec 2015
The Crimson Spider Orchid is from a group of orchids characterised by five long spreading petals and sepals around a broad down-curled labellum (‘lip’). It has a single leaf up to 15 cm long. The flower stem is up to 30 cm tall with 1 or 2 deep purplish-red flowers, 80 mm across. Flowering generally occurs in September. The flowers are said to smell strongly like a hot motor. In the area where this species occurs, only the Rosella Spider Orchid C. rosella is similar, but it is musk-scented and has paler pink-streaked flower-parts.
The current NSW Scientific Committee listing incorporates two populations which have each been described as separate species by D.L. Jones. One of these populations comprises a few hundred plants on private property near Bethungra and the other of about 100 plants occurs in Burrinjuck Nature reserve. The other occurrences of the Crimson Spider Orchid in NSW are from the Nail Can Hill Crown Reserve near Albury. The species also occurs at two localities in Victoria near Beechworth and Chiltern.
Habitat and ecology
- Habitat is regrowth woodland on granite ridge country that has retained a high diversity of plant species, including other orchids.
- The dominant trees are Blakely’s Red Gum (Eucalyptus blakelyi), Red Stringybark (E. macrorhyncha), Red Box (E. polyanthemos) and White Box (E. albens); the diverse understorey includes Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata), Hop Bitter-pea (Daviesia latifolia), Common Beard-heath (Leucopogon virgatus), Spreading Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta) and Poa Tussock (Poa sieberiana).
- This species is deciduous, producing a leaf during autumn or winter and after flowering in spring survives the dry summer and early autumn as a dormant tuber.
- Flowering does not take place every year for reasons that are not fully understood, though each plant probably lives for a considerable number of years.
- It is likely that fire is not a direct requirement of the species, but it may have a positive influence on seedling germination and establishment.
Regional distribution and habitat
Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.
- The species is susceptible to extinction via stochastic processes due to its small known population size and restricted distribution.
- Inappropriate fire regimes are of concern.
- Inadvertent damage from track maintenance activities.
- Serious infestations of weed species (Briza spp. in particular) occur in the immediate vicinity of individuals of the orchid.
- There is the potential for mountain bikes, trail bikes, and walkers to damage indiviudal plants and their habitat.
- There is no information about the pollinators, or their ecological requirements, which are critical for ongoing survival of populations.
A targeted strategy for managing this species has been developed under the Saving Our Species program; click here
for details. For more information on the Saving Our Species program click here
Activities to assist this species
- Weeds to be control by hand weeding on an annual basis.
- Seek co-operation from management authorities to minimise threats.
- Mark sites and potential habitat onto maps used for planning management activities.
- Backhouse, G.N. and Jeanes, J.A. (1995) The Orchids of Victoria. (The Meigunyah Press, Melbourne)
- Bernhardt, P. (1993) Caladenia. Pp 196-209 in Harden, G.J. (ed.) Flora of New South Wales. Volume 4. (New South Wales University Press, Sydney)
- Bishop, T. (2000) Field Guide to the Orchids of New South Wales and Victoria. (New South Wales University Press, Sydney)
- Coates, F., Jeanes, J. and Pritchard, A. (2002) Recovery Plan for Twenty- five Threatened Orchids of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales 2003 - 2007. (Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne)
- Jones, D.L. (2006) Miscellaneous new species of Australian Orchidaceae. In Jones, D.L. and Clements, M.A. New taxa of Australian Orchidaceae. [Australian Orchid Research vol. 5]. (Australian Orchid Foundation, Essendon, Vic)
- Murray Catchment Management Authority and Office of Environment and Heritage (2012) New South Wales Murray Biodiversity Management Plan: A guide to terrestrial biodiversity investment priorities in the central and eastern NSW Murray catchment. (Murray CMA, Albury)
- NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (2003) Draft Recovery Plan for the Crimson Spider Orchid (Caladenia concolor) (Including populations at Bethungra and Burrinjuck to be described as two new species). (NSW NPWS, Sydney)
- NSW Scientific Committee (1997) Caladenia concolor (a terrestrial orchid) - Endangered species determination - final.
- Walsh, N.G. and Entwisle, T.J. (1994) Flora of Victoria. Volume 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. (Inkata Press, Melbourne)
Known or predicted
Geographic restrictions region