Nature conservation

Threatened species

Crimson Spider Orchid - profile

Indicative distribution

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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
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Gazetted date: 18 Jul 1997
Profile last updated: 07 Jun 2022


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.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known West of Jingellic
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Predicted None