Purple Enamel Orchid image pa220330 77KB
Western Australian Orchids
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Butterfly Orchid image pa220236 83KB

Most of the orchids on this web page are from the Stirling Range National Park and were photographed during a Floral Secrets Orchid Tour taken on a Saturday morning in October. The Park is 400 south-east of Perth.

Within the 116,000ha of the Park, there are 1,500 plant species - including 123 species of orchids.

The Tour is provided by Stirling Range Retreat, and in our case was conducted by Ayleen Sands, whose knowledge, passion and charm made it an experience to be remembered and treasured.

Notes taken on the Tour, as well as its handouts allowed the identification of the orchids and much of the detail provided below.

Reference has also been made to the superb Western Australian Herbarium FloraBase and the Orchids of South-West Australia website.

Unless indicated, the photos were taken in the Stirling Range National Park.

The orchid at the top is the stunning Purple Enamel Orchid (Elythranthera brunonis). It is widespread and the flower is 30mm in diameter.

The Butterfly Orchid (Caladenia lobata) above shows the remarkable, if not bizarre shapes of orchids. Its crimson lip quivers in the breeze. It is a Spider Orchid and its "wingspan" would be 70mm.

[A new classification is proposed for the Caladenia genus that would see the Spider Orchids have their own genera - Arachnorchis.]

An index to the orchid images included on this web-page.
Bee Orchid
Blue Lady Orchid
Butterfly Orchid
Cowslip Orchid
Crab-lipped Spider Orchid
Dragon Orchid
Dwarf Spider Orchid
Fringed Mantis Orchid
King Spider Orchid
Purple Enamel Orchid
Purple Pansy Orchid
Rabbit Orchid
Rattle Beak Orchid
Rusty Spider Orchid
Scented Sun Orchid
Shy Sun Orchid
Silky Blue Orchid
Stark White Spider Orchid
Western Wispy Spider Orchid
White Fairy Orchid
Zebra Orchid

Sun Orchids are at times difficult to identify from each other - especially when hybrids are involved.

Shy Sun Orchid image pa210043 70KB

The Shy Sun Orchid (Thelymitra graminea) to the left was found on Wave Rock.

Scented Sun Orchid image pa240224 78KB

The Scented Sun Orchid (Thelymitra macrophylla) to the right was found in Albany.


Blue Lady Orchid image pb010244 69KB

The Blue Lady Orchid (Thelymitra crinita) to the right was found in Perth.


Blue Lady Orchid

It can be distinguished from the Scented Sun Orchid by the purple tufts on its column - see the close-up to the right shows.



Select the thumbnail image to see the full image.

Rattle Beak Orchid pa220273 74KB
Rattle Beak Orchid
(Lyperanthus serratus)
This very distinctive orchid is so named as its flowers rattle when shaken.
Bee Orchid pa210029 56KB
Bee Orchid
(Diuris laxiflora)
This Donkey Orchid was found on Wave Rock.
Purple Pansy Orchid pa230035 100KB
Purple Pansy Orchid
(Diuris longifolia)
Another member of the Donkey Orchid herd - its name is very fitting.
Zebra Orchid pa220159  72KB
Zebra Orchid
(Caladenia carnsiana)
The distinctive striped labellum readily identifies this orchid.
White Fairy Orchid pa290084 48KB
White Fairy Orchid
(Caladenia marginata)
This splendid "standard-looking" orchid was found north of Margaret River.
Rusty Spider Orchid pa220226 96KB
Rusty Spider Orchid
(Caladenia ferruginea)
Another magic spider orchid - looking a bit like some discarded maroon ribbon.
The full image shows a seed pod.
Dragon Orchid pa220229 71KB
Dragon Orchid
(Drakonorchis barbarossa)
Apparently, the labellum of the Dragon Orchid resembles a female Thynnid Wasp. In addition it excretes the scent of this wasp.
Dragon Orchid pa220184 96KB
Dragon Orchid
(Drakonorchis barbarossa)
The male Thynnid Wasp becomes stuck on the labellum and the only way clear is towards the column - thus becoming a pollinator.
Dragon Orchid (with wasp close up) pb26042 96KB
Dragon Orchid
(Drakonorchis barbarossa)
Here's another image of the Thynnid Wasp.
There are over 12,000 species of wasp in Australia.
Silky Blue Orchid pa260191 69KB
Silky Blue Orchid
(Cyanicula sericea)
This beautiful orchid was found in woodland near Pemberton. It was growing out of the stump of a fallen tree.
Rabbit Orchid pa220149 61KB
Rabbit Orchid
(Leptoceras menziesii)
Easily identified by its elongated petals looking like rabbit ears.
Cowslip Orchid pa270356 53KB
Cowslip Orchid
(Caladenia flava)
One of the more common orchids - often appearing in groups. This one was found near Pemberton.
Western Wispy Spider Orchid pa220205 84KB
Western Wispy Spider Orchid
(Caladenia microchila)
This stunning orchid has the longest petals and sepals - wisping and waving.
Fringed Mantis Orchid pa230015 88KB
Fringed Mantis Orchid
(Caladenia falcata)
One of the more pronounced displays of the labellum and column with the remaining petals and sepals attracting attention.
Also known as the Green Spider Orchid.
Stark White Spider Orchid pa220219 70KB
Stark White Spider Orchid
(Caladenia longicauda - ssp. eminens)
Yet another most remarkable spider orchid.
Crab Lipped Orchid pa220282 64KB
Crab-lipped Spider Orchid
(Caladenia plicata)
A spider orchid with so much character. Its labellum looks like a handlebar moustache
Dwarf Spider Orchid pa220162 65KB
Dwarf Spider Orchid
(Caladenia bryceana)
Although not a great photo, as it was past its best, it has been included as it is a threatened species - having been declared "rare".
King Spider Orchid pa220257 89KB
King Spider Orchid
(Caladenia pectinata)
One of the more flashy and bold spider orchids.


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