Caladenia cretacea (D.L.Jones) G.N.Backh.

Victorian Naturalist 124: 124 (2007) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Endemic

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: endangered (e); listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Flowering plant 20–35 cm tall. Leaf 5–12 cm long, 6–10 mm wide, reddish at base. Flowers 1 or 2, fragrance resembling hot metal; perianth segments 3.5–6 cm long, white to greyish white, tepals often with a reddish median stripe, lateral sepals and petals drooping; sepals flattened at base, 2.5–4 mm wide, distal half to two-thirds with a mixture of transparent and purplish ellipsoid cells in chains of 2–4; petals shorter than sepals but otherwise similar. Labellum curved forward with apex recurved and lateral lobes erect, lamina broadly ovate-lanceolate, obscurely 3-lobed, 14–16 mm long and 8–10 mm wide (when flattened), cream with reddish lines; margins of lateral lobes fringed with reddish linear calli mostly 0.5–2 mm long, margins of mid-lobe with shorter calli becoming tooth-like and merging near tip; lamina calli mainly in 4 rows, extending well onto the mid-lobe, narrow, linear to foot-shaped, c. 1 mm long at base of lamina, decreasing in size towards apex. Flowers Aug.–Sep.

Gold. Endemic to Victoria where known only from heathy open forests between Stuart Mill and Dalyenong in the western goldfields on sandy loams.

Although occurring in a biological reserve, Caladenia cretacea has a limited distributional range and is known from very few plants. It is regarded as endangered.

Caladenia cretacea is closely related to C. venusta, but the latter has much larger flowers with a larger labellum that has longer marginal teeth.

Hybrids with the sometimes sympatric C. cruciformis have been observed.

Created by: Jeff Jeanes, 2015-04-28
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-15
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 cretacea in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Caladenia cretacea in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Goldfields present native

State distribution

Distribution map