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Range of Caladenia reptans
Range of Caladenia reptans.

Little Pink Fairy Orchid
Caladenia reptans Lindl. 1840



The Little Pink Fairy Orchid is endemic to WA, occurring south-west of a line from Kalbarri to Bremer Bay. It is particularly common and widespread across the Wheatbelt region where it can be found in large numbers in remnant woodland. Little Pink Fairy Orchids grow in a variety of different habitats and soils, including sandy, loamy and lateritic soils in forests and woodlands. The peak flowering period is late winter. As they are capable of multiplying vegetatively, Little Pink Fairy Orchids will often form dense clumps that can sometimes be made up of dozens of individual plants.

As its name already suggests, the Little Pink Fairy Orchid essentially looks like a smaller version of the Pink Fairy Orchid (Caladenia latifolia). The Little Pink Fairy Orchid can be distinguished through its shorter flower scapes and slightly smaller flowers with somewhat more rounded petals and sepals. In addition, it 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, with the Pink Fairy Orchid typically flowering about a month later than the Little Pink Fairy Orchid.


Caladenia reptans
The flowers of the Little Pink Fairy Orchid are uniformly pink. (Myalup, WA, 02 / 08 / 2015)
Caladenia reptans
Compared to the similar Pink Fairy Orchid (Caladenia latifolia), the sepals and petals are generally shorter and more rounded. (Brookton, WA, 24 / 08 / 2017)
Caladenia reptans
The characteristic labellum is also generally shorter and more rounded than in the Pink Fairy Orchid. (Brookton, WA, 19 / 08 / 2016)
Caladenia reptans
Little Pink Fairy Orchids are common across WA’s Wheatbelt where they grow in open woodland. (West Pingelly, WA, 17 / 08 / 2014)
Caladenia reptans
The orchids multiply vegetatively and often form dense clumps. (Brookton, WA, 19 / 08 / 2016)
Caladenia reptans
Such clumps can sometimes be made up of dozens of plants and are a spectacular sight. (Brookton, WA, 19 / 08 / 2016)
Caladenia reptans
Comparison with the size of a thumb. (Flynn, WA, 25 / 08 / 2019)