Cyanicula caerulea (R.Br.) Hopper & A.P.Br.

Lindleyana 15: 121 (2000) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering plant very slender, 5–18 cm tall. Leaf linear, 2–7 cm long, 2–5 mm wide. Flowers solitary, pale to bright blue (rarely white); ovary c. 5 mm long; perianth segments 9–18 mm long, outer surface paler and with scattered tiny dark blue glands; dorsal sepal erect, narrowly elliptic; lateral sepals and petals spreading or somewhat deflexed, elliptic to elliptic-ovate, slightly asymmetric, broader than dorsal sepal. Labellum very shortly clawed, 3-lobed, c. 7–8 mm long (when flattened), blue, with dark blue transverse bars; lateral lobes prominent, broad, erect, margins entire; mid-lobe recurved, narrowly wedge-shaped, margins entire, white and yellow (rarely blue and yellow); lamina calli in 2 rows (sometimes 4 at base) extending to apex, with dark stalks and yellow clubs, becoming sessile near tip. Column incurved, narrowly winged, dark blue; anther with long point. Flowers Jul.-Oct.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, NIS, OtP, VRiv, VVP, WPro, Wim. Occurs in open-forests, principally in central Victoria (e.g. goldfields country). Usually growing on ridges and slopes in shallow, stony soils, but extending to coastal heaths in the east of the State.

Cyanicula caerulea var. heliotropica (Rupp) Hopper & A.P.Br., based on plants found near Dubbo (NSW), differs from the plants described above in having unusually large violet-blue flowers with all labellum calli white or cream, and the labellum mid-lobe pure white. Plants resembling this variety have been seen in Mt Samaria State Park, but this entity does not seem to warrant taxonomic recognition, at least in Victoria.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1994). Orchidaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne (as Caladenia caerulea var. caerulea).
Updated by: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-09-01
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Cyanicula
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Cyanicula caerulea in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cyanicula caerulea in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory