Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable as Caladenia brumalis
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Caladenia brumalis (Winter Spider-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013fo) [Conservation Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Draft survey guidelines for Australia's threatened orchids (Department of the Environment, 2013b) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Caladenia brumalis.
State Government
    Documents and Websites
SA:Draft recovery plan for 23 threatened flora taxa on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 2007-2012 (Pobke, K., 2007) [State Recovery Plan].
State Listing Status
SA: Listed as Vulnerable (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list) as Caladenia brumalis
Scientific name Caladenia brumalis [54993]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author D.L.Jones
Infraspecies author  
Reference Jones, D.L. (1991) New taxa of Australian Orchidaceae. Australian Orchid Research 2: 17, fig. 17
Other names Arachnorchis brumalis [76221]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Caladenia brumalis

Common name: Winter Spider-orchid

The Winter Spider-orchid is conventionally accepted as Caladenia brumalis (CHAH 2005). The species has previously been referred to as Arachnorchis brumalis, Calonema brumalis, Calonemorchis brumalis and Caladenia patersonii.

The Winter Spider-orchid is a hairy terrestrial herb, with a wiry, densely hairy, rigid flowering stem growing to 15–20 cm in height (Bates 2011; Jones 1991b). The species has lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate leaves of a soft green with dense, short hairs and a reddish base, growing to 4–8 cm in width and 9–11 cm in length. The flowers are usually solitary, whitish to pinkish in colour with darker central stripes, have a slight floral odor and are 7 cm in width. The labellum (lip) is also white or pinkish with some red markings, obscurely lobed, with a curved tip under and is not red. The dorsal sepal (5–7.5 cm x 0.3–0.4 cm) is erect and slightly incurved, with a fine, glandular channelled point. Lateral sepals (5–6.5 mm x 3.6–6.5 mm) and petals (4.5–5.5 mm x 3.5–4.5 mm) of the plant are linear-lanceolate and narrow to linear-filiform and widely divergent (Bates 2011; Jones 1991b).

The Winter Spider-orchid occurs in the central-southern areas of South Australia. Studies, undertaken in the late 1990s, have shown the species to be common in parts of the Yorke Peninsula. The orchid is likely to occur in the southern Eyre Peninsula, and there is one record from the coast south of Adelaide (Bates 2011). It is generally highly localised, due to loss of habitat, and is poorly conserved (Jones 1991b; Jones 2001 pers. comm.; Jones et al. 2001).

The Winter Spider-orchid grows among grass and shrubs in light woodland or sedgeland, but never in mountain ranges. It is found mostly on terra rossa soils or fertile lands, usually over limestone and within a few kilometers of the sea (Bates 2011; Jones 1991b; Jones 2001 pers. comm.; Jones et al. 2001).

On Eyre Peninsula, the species has been recorded as growing in the following vegetation associations (Pokbe 2007):

  • broom honey-myrtle (Melaleuca uncinata) shrubland over low shrubs at Carapee Hill CP
  • coastal umbrella bush (Acacia cupularis) (mixed) shrubland over shrubs at Carapee Hill CP
  • drooping sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata) woodland over tall shrubs and low shrubs at ‘roadside’
  • coastal white mallee (Eucalyptus diversifolia subsp. diversifolia) mallee woodland over shrubs and forbs at heritage agreement at Coles Point
  • sugar gum (Eucalyptus cladocalyx) woodland with an understorey of Xanthorrhoea semiplana subsp. semiplana, stream guinea-flower (Hibbertia riparia), peach heath (Lissanthe strigosa), Homoranthus homoranthoides and milkmaids (Burchardia umbellata) at Wangary.

Flowering occurs between late June and September (Bates 2011).

The Winter Spider-orchid, although related to the Common Spider-orchid (Caladenia patersonii), is distinctive for its late winter-early spring flowering habit and its smaller, whitish flowers which sometimes have stiffly spreading perianth (petal) segments and narrower lamina (leaf blade) calli (Bates 2011).

In addition, the Winter Spider-orchid is similar in size to the Coloured Spider-orchid (Caladenia colorata), but the latter flowers later, has more colourful flowers with drooping, heavier grandular flowers (Bates 2011).

Furthermore, the Winter Spider-orchid is similar in colouration to the White-beauty Spider-orchid (Caladenia argocalla), but is smaller in all parts and flowers earlier (Bates 2011).

The Winter Spider-orchid forms hybrids with the Pink Fairy Orchid (C. latifolia), the Coast Spider-orchid (C. conferta), the Thick-lipped Spider-orchid (C. cardiochila), the Stuart Mill Spider-orchid (C. stricta) and the Large-club Spider-orchid (C. macroclavia) (Bates 2001 pers. comm.; Jones 1991b).

The Nature Conservation Society of South Australia Incorporated received $21 990 of funding through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2004–05. The grant has been used for a multitude of projects aimed at the conservation of the Winter Spider-orchid and a number of other threatened native orchid species. This has included general orchid population survey and monitoring work, Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) surveys, fencing (or caging) of sites, public workshops and 'working bees' on Peninsula orchids (aimed at raising public awareness, including one event on 23/09/2011), grazing monitoring, weed control and bush management activities.

Management documents for the Winter Spider-orchid can be found at the start of this profile.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Vegetation and habitat loss caused by dieback Phytophthora cinnamomi Threat abatement plan for disease in natural ecosystems caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009w) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Caladenia brumalis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cu) [Internet].

Bates, R. (2001). Personal Communication.

Bates, R.J (2011). South Australia's Native Orchids. Compact disc. Native Orchid Society of South Australia.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2005). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from:

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2009w). Threat abatement plan for disease in natural ecosystems caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi. [Online]. Canberra; ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from:

Jones, D.L. (1991b). New Taxa of Australian Orchidaceae. Australian Orchid Research. 2. Essendon: Australian Orchid Foundation.

Jones, D.L. (2001). Personal Communication.

Jones, D.L., M.A. Clements, I.K. Sharma & A.M. McKenzie (2001). A new classification of Caladenia R.Br. (Orchidaceae). The Orchadian. 13(9):389-417.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Caladenia brumalis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:11:42 +1000.