The orchids on this page share the feature of relatively small plants and flowers. Species on this page include the Brookton Highway Spider Orchid, Caladenia fluvialis, the Dark-tipped Spider Orchid, Caladenia postea, the Dwarf Common Spider Orchid, Caladenia hiemalis, the Western Wispy Spider Orchid, Caladenia microchila and the Moora Spider Orchid, Caladenia exilis subsp. vanleeuwenii.
Caladenia fluvialis - Brookton Highway Spider Orchid
The Brookton Highway Spider Orchid is distinguished by its small flowers that are quite variable in colour. Plants rarely reach more than 20cm tall with flowers that can range from white to completely red. As the name suggests, it is found in a smallish area along the Brookton Highway at the western edge of the Wheatbelt. It favours winter wet areas in Wandoo woodlands.
Caladenia postea - Dark-tipped Spider Orchid
This orchid is a somewhat rare species that is quite similar to the Talbot's Spider Orchid. It is distinguished by the dark-tipped petals (hence the name) and also the flowering time, which is a few weeks later (October). Other wispy spider orchids in the area are finished by the time the Dark-tipped Spider Orchid starts flowering.
Caladenia hiemalis - Dwarf Common Spider Orchid
The Dwarf Common Spider Orchid is distinguished mainly by its early flowering time. It is one of the first wispy spider orchids to flower, starting in late June. As its name suggests, it has quite small flowers, 5-8cm lone on stems up to 15cm tall.
Caladenia microchila - Western Wispy Spider Orchid
The Western Wispy Spider Orchid is so called as it occurs in Western Australia, as opposed to Eastern Australia. In WA, it is found in the eastern Wheatbelt. Like most orchids in that area, it is most common in areas with increased water availability, such as around granite outcrops and along creeklines. The distinguishing feature is the tiny labellum, which is only 2-3mm wide - noticeably smaller than other wispy spider orchids. The flowers and plants are also quite small. Flowers are 4-6cm long and plants up to 15cm tall.
Caladenia exilis subsp. vanleeuwenii - Moora Spider Orchid
The Moora Spider flowers early in the season, starting in July. It is a fairly small orchid and favours winter wet areas. It is quite variable in colour, from white to red.