Caladenia congesta R.Br.

Black-tongue Caladenia

Prodr. 324 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering plant very slender 15–60 cm tall. Leaf linear, 8–18 cm long, 2–3 mm wide. Flowers 1–3, bright pink with conspicuous black labellum tip; ovary 7–9 mm long; perianth segments 16–20 mm long, acute at apex, outside with numerous dark red glandular hairs; dorsal sepal incurved over (and slightly around) the column, lanceolate; lateral sepals spreading or obliquely deflexed, lanceolate, asymmetric, usually broader than petals; petals spreading, lanceolate, slightly asymmetric. Labellum on short claw, 3-lobed, 8–10 mm long, 4.5–5.5 mm wide (when flattened), pink; lateral lobes elongate, acute anteriorly, erect or slightly spreading, margins entire; mid-lobe recurved, oblong-lanceolate, elongate and narrow, margins entire; lamina calli very closely spaced in two rows, becoming congested at apex, basal pair stalked, remainder sessile, dark crimson to black, shiny. Column incurved, relatively widely winged above, blotched with pink markings; anther with short point. Flowers Oct.–Jan.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VVP, Wim. Also SA, NSW, ACT, Tas. Grows in coastal scrub and woodlands on sandy or peaty soil extending to foothill forests and subalps on shallow, stony soils. Widespread but not common.

The black congested calli covering the labellum tip make this a distinctive species unlikely to be confused with any others.

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.
Updated by: Jeff Jeanes, 2015-04-24
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Caladenia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Caladenia congesta in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Caladenia congesta in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain 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
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory