9th November - Caladenia pusilla - lady's finger

Caladenia pusilla

Slender plant 10-15 cm high. Flower about 7 mm across. This plant has now been given species status. Previously it was thought to be a variety of Caladenia carnea. It appeared for the first time at Wirrapunga this year although presumably one flowered and set seed last year unnoticed. It is also thought to be self pollinating which gives it a good chance of survival.

Flowers from September to November. The flower only opens for a few days.

Its size and delicacy makes it very vulnerable. I have spent much of my life looking for orchids in our bush and this year was the first time I saw one. A patch of twenty two individuals flowered at Wirrapunga this year (2009). This has increased to over 50 in 2010.

Needs an events programme that reasonably controls competition. I will be mowing the area where it is growing, each summer to a height of about 10 cm and carefully monitoring its progress.