Plant of the month: February

LIMESTONE SPIDER ORCHID

(Jonesiopsis bicalliata)

(Photos: E. Cousins, a patch at Cape Jervis, closer view of the flower)

We were lucky enough to see an extensive colony of these little beauties flowering at Cape Jervis in late August. A spider orchid … but which one? We first thought the veined spider orchid (Caladenia reticulate) but the fringe is white not burgundy. Other contenders were ruled out by size or locations. Not being orchid experts, we searched several books, looked at countless images online and finally got the definitive answer from Rosalie Lawrence, courtesy of SA Natureteers. Rosalie tells us this orchid is widespread in SA, but not the Adelaide Hills. Guess they don’t have the limestone base Cape Jervis has! Among the features distinguishing this from the Arachnorchis (Spiders) family is that there are not two yellow glands at the base of the column, just a yellow glow. Many thanks, Rosalie!!