Caladenia tensa G.W.Carr

Indig. Flora & Fauna Assoc. Misc. Pap. 1: 15 (1991) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:EPBC: endangered (EN); Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Flowering plant 20–30 cm tall. Leaf 6–12 cm long, 10–15 mm wide, often spotted red at base. Flowers 1 or 2; perianth segments 2.5–4 cm long, green with red central stripe, sepals bearing moderately thin orange to brown apical osmophores 6–9 mm long; dorsal sepal erect, 2–3 mm wide, tip drooping; lateral sepals projected forwards stiffly, slightly divergent, asymmetric, dilated at base, 3–3.5 mm wide, tapered to a filiform tail; petals deflexed, 1.5–2 mm wide. Labellum loosely hinged, curved forward with lateral lobes erect and tip of mid-lobe curved under, prominently 3-lobed, 18–20 mm long and 18–22 mm wide (when flattened), green at base, grading to white then with a dark purple mid-lobe; larger comb-teeth on lateral lobes 4 mm long, rising nearly to anther tip, mid-lobe irregularly and broadly toothed or scalloped; lamina calli in 4 uncrowded rows extending onto base of mid-lobe, linear to narrowly club-shaped, to 3 mm long at base of labellum, shorter and with broader heads towards apex. Flowers Sep.–Oct.

Glep, Gold, LoM, MuM, Wim. Also ?SA. In Victoria found mainly in the Little Desert area (also with an isolated record for near Wood Wood) in Eucalyptus/Callitris woodland on well-drained sandy soil.

Caladenia tensa is distinguished from the closely related C. tentaculata by its generally smaller flowers and the more or less straight, rigid lateral sepals with shorter clubs.

A poorly known taxon that requires further study to clarify its circumscription.

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, 2015-05-14
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 tensa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Caladenia tensa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Goldfields present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales