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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Orchidaceae
Caladenia deformis

Citation: R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 324 (1810).

Synonymy: C. deformis R. Br. var. albiflora Benth., Fl. Aust. 6:389 (1873).

Common name: Blue fairies, bluebeard caladenia.

Slightly hairy, 6-15 cm high; leaf almost glabrous, linear-lanceolate, 5-6 cm long and c. 4 mm wide.

Flowers solitary, deep-blue, occasionally white; often with a faint sweet fragrance; perianth-segments light-coloured, with many scattered minute purple glands on the outside, spreading with the exception of the dorsal sepal, which is generally erect or recurved; dorsal sepal c. 19 mm long, not very acute, elliptic-lanceolate, 5-nerved; lateral sepals c. 17 mm, falcate, lanceolate; petals sometimes erect, spreading, obliquely oblong-lanceolate, about as long as the lateral sepals; labellum contracted towards the base, sessile, c. 11 mm long (when extended) and c. 7 mm wide; obcuneate, its lower two-thirds erect, clasping the sides of the column; obscurely 3-lobed; the lateral lobes toothed anteriorly, their margins otherwise entire, not very prominent; middle lobe triangular, recurved; dark-purple, fringed with dentate calli; calli of lamina linear or slightly clubbed, long-papillate, in 4-6 rather ill-defined rows, not quite extending to the extreme tip, somewhat crowded, those at the base tomentose; column c. 10 mm long, incurved, winged throughout, broadly so in its upper-half; the wings united shortly in front of the base; more or less purple with deep-purple dots and markings; anther with a long acute point; pollinia 4, free, lamellate, elongate-crescentic.

Published illustration: Fitzgerald (1879) Australian orchids, vol. l, pt 5; Cady & Rotherham (1970) Australian native orchids in colour, p. 52; Hoffman & Brown (1984) Orchids of south-west Australia, p. 182.

Distribution:  A common species occurring in small clumps or in extensive populations on varied soil types in open forest, scrub, heathland or rock outcrops in most areas receiving greater than 250 mm mean annual rainfall.

  W.Aust.; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: July — Oct.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: A possible intergeneric hybrid with Glossodia major R. Br. was recorded by J. H. Willis (1962) A handbook to plants in Victoria 2:396, and described as Caladenia tutelata R.S. Rogers. A putative hybrid with C. carnea has been reported.

Author: Not yet available

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