Saturday, July 14, 2012

Petalochilus carnea

Petalochilus carnea (previously Caladenia carnea) - Pink Fingers

Name change: Petalochilus carnea has previously been known as Caladenia carnea.

Family: Orchidaceae

Common name: Pink Fingers

Flowers: 1 to 3 flowers, 2 to 3cm across, whitish-pink to pale pink to bright pink. An erect rear sepal and four other segments spreading forwards like the fingers of a hand. The lip has dark red bars and two rows of yellow calli. Flowering period Aug to Oct.

Stem and leaves: 1 dark basal green, erect, hairy leave to 15cm by 0.4cm. Thin wiry scape (stem) to 25cm in height.

Habit: A variable plant which can be locally common. Can occur as a single plant, but more commonly loosely scattered, often occurring with Cyanicula caerulea (Blue Caladenia).

Habitat: In the Pilliga I have found Petalochilus carnea in sandy soil either with or without leaf litter and sparsely scattered grasses. In NSW it grows in a variety of habitats from coastal heath and bushland to schlerophyll forest and woodland, often recolonising cleared areas. Also found in Qld, ACT, Vic, Tas and SA.
Petalochilus carnea - Pink fingers Caladenia

Linear, sparsely hairy leaf of Petalochilus carnea

Note in the last image, the two forward facing sepals are joined near the base. I think this is simply an abnormality rather a separate species. If anyone has any comment to make on this, I'd be pleased to receive an email.
More information: