Seeds of South Australia
Caladenia cardiochila (Orchidaceae)
Heart-lip Spider-orchid
List of species for Caladenia
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Seed collecting:
December to January
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Regionally Extinct   [regionally extinct]
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range; protected in Coorong NP]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [protected habitat; in Newland Head & Hartley; could be EN]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv))   (Probable Decline)   [in Sandy Ck, Cherry Gdns; mallee sp]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Definite Decline)   [No recent records, presumed extinct.]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Definite Decline)   [Last seen in Mambray Creek in late 90's.]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU C1,2a(i))   (Definite Decline)   [Lots of Historical records. Small pop sizes, highly fragmented. Definite decline.]
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Definite Decline)   [Last seen in Moonta, one plant. Definite decline.]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern   [likes sandy soil]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [likes sandy soil]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern   [likes sandy soil]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Near Threatened   (Definite Decline)   [used to be abundant; loss of habitat, goats, rabbits, drought - threats]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [has been hybridising; protected in Coorong NP]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA bd(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [should be more records]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [likes sandy soil]
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [likes sandy soil]
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainRegionally Extinct
  [regionally extinct]
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooRare
, Vulnerable
3 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockEndangered
, Critically Endangered
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
, Vulnerable
, Critically Endangered
4 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionNear Threatened
, Rare
, Vulnerable
, Endangered
2 of 8 subregionsGawlerRare
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria DesertRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Caladenia]
Name derivation:
Caladenia from the Greek 'callos' meaning beauty and 'aden' meaning a gland, referring to the colourful labellum and the glistening glands at the base of the column that are present in many of the species. Cardiochila from the Greek 'kardio' meaning heart and 'cheilos' meaning lip, alluding to the heart-shaped labellum. 
Found in the southern part of South Australia, from Eyre Peninsula to the lower South-east growing in a wide range of habitats including mallee, heathland and Callitris forests on sandy well-drained soils. Also found in Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Victoria.
Plant description:
Variable in size, shape and colour, this species has one of the smallest flowers of the spider-orchids. Plants are 10-30 cm tall with a slender hairy stalk which bears 1 or 2 flowers. A single narrow basal leaf 4-11 cm long appears during late autumn or early winter. Flowers are 20-30 mm across and range in colour from yellowish-green to pink with red striping and spotting. Both sepals and petals lack clubs or glandular hairs and labellum margins are entire. Flowering between August and November.
Fruit type:
Brown, papery ellipsoid capsule.
Seed type:
Very small brown ellipsoid seed with a long cylindrical translucent brown mesh-like covering.
Seed collecting:
Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.
Seed viability:
For the NVC South East Orchid Project one population consisting of more than five individuals was recorded in Bangham Conservation Park. A total of 100,000 seeds (0.04 g) were banked from this population. Seed viability was estimated at 70%.
Seed germination:
Seed germination in Caladenia species is difficult without compatible mycorrhizal fungi.