Pink Fairy Orchid
- Caladenia mollis
- Caladenia elongata
- Caladeniastrum latifolium
The Pink Fairy Orchid is one of the most common and widespread orchids of Australia. It can be found across southern Australia, including south-western WA, southern SA, most of VIC and parts of TAS. Although only historic records exist from NSW, the species’ range could potentially extend into far south-eastern NSW close to the Victorian border. The orchids are found in a range of different habitats, including forests and woodlands, coastal scrub, rocky outcrops and along creeks, but are most abundant in sandy soils in coastal areas. The peak flowering season is spring, several weeks after the similar Little Pink Fairy Orchid (Caladena reptans), which typically flowers in late winter.
Pink Fairy Orchids are easily recognised by their characteristic, pink flowers, although the colour of the flowers is generally variable and can range from deep pink to almost white. Occasionally, specimens with entirely white flowers are encountered which lack the pink pigments. As the species is capable of multiplying vegetatively, Pink Fairy Orchids often form small clumps, although not all individuals will flower in any particular year.
Across south-western WA, the Pink Fairy Orchid could potentially be confused with the similar Little Pink Fairy Orchid (Caladena reptans), which is distinguished by its shorter flower scapes and slightly smaller flowers with somewhat more rounded petals and sepals. In addition, the Little Pink Fairy Orchid is generally more abundant in the drier, semi-arid regions of WA, while the Pink Fairy Orchid is mostly confined to high-rainfall areas near the coast. However, both species are occasionally seen growing together in the same location, where the Pink Fairy Orchid will typically flower about a month later than the Little Pink Fairy Orchid.
- Caladenia latifolia in the Australian Plant Name Index
- Caladenia latifolia in the Atlas of Living Australia
- Caladenia latifolia in the New South Wales Flora Online
- Caladenia latifolia in the Flora of Victoria
- Caladenia latifolia in the Electronic Flora of South Australia
- Caladenia latifolia in the Western Australian FloraBase