SPECIES: Caladenia gladiolata — Bayonet Spider-orchid
Chances are you may not have heard of this one. Endemic to South Australia, the Bayonet Spider-orchid is only found in the Mount Lofty and Southern Flinders Ranges regions and the population is declining; various populations previously observed are now presumed extinct. On the positive, it's quite a hardy species, and has the ability to remain dormant for several consecutive years – particularly through times of drought. However, it's chances of reproduction are delicate enough to begin with; not only does the Bayonet Spider-orchid relies on a particular species of wasp in order for pollination to occur, it also relies on only grows in association with a particular type of fungi.
At FAME, we’re passionate about saving our native smaller, lesser-known species that without intervention would otherwise be left to face extinction. Each and every one of our native Australian species contribute to the rich biodiversity on the continent. To lose just one of these species to extinction disrupts the balance of the ecosystem.
Working with landholders, volunteer and regional partners, the project aims to undertake collaborative searches, workshops and translocations leading to new and increased population numbers whilst maintaining genetic diversity. To find out more about this important project and to make a donation visit https://www.fame.org.au/projects/saving-endangered-flora-species
Photo: Jerry Smith