Caladenia carnea

Pink Fingers

Slender erect perennial growing from round tubers, scattered in loose colonies. Stem green or reddish with scattered hairs. Dies down in hot weather. Plants in the Dandenong Ranges are frequently white.

Additional information

  • SynonymPetalochilus carneus
  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size8-25 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesSingle narrow sparsely hairy leaf 3-15 cm x 1-4 mm.
  • Flower colourWhite to deep pink, greenish with pink stripe on back
  • Flowering timeAugust to December
  • Flowers1-5 flowers to 40 mm wide; central sepal erect, lateral sepals projecting forward; petals spreading. Lip 3-lobed. Column and lip red barred, 2-4 rows of stalked yellow warts (calli) on lip, margin toothed or fringed.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsWell drained loam soil to moist mountain soil in forests and woodlands. Full sun, semi shade.
  • Garden useUse of orchids in gardens is not recommended, unless they already occur naturally, in which case they need to be protected. Removing orchids from the bush usually results in their death and further depletes remaining wild orchid populations.
  • Commercially availableNever
  • Conservation statusWidespread within the Shire
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
  • Related speciesCaladenia vulgaris has been separated from C. carnea and is known from 1 collection on Mt. Dandenong. It is taller, to 35 cm, with a longer leaf to 30 cm which can be longer than the flowering stem. 1-2 small dull pink flowers to 15 mm wide seem to self-pollinate.
Photographer/s: 1, 3 Marilyn Bull ©; 2 Barry Sheffield ©

Plant Communities

  • 08 Mountain Grey Gum Damp Forest – Dandenongs (EVC 29)
  • 26 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Middle Yarra (EVC 22)
  • 17 Messmate Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 27 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 22)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
  • 38 Yellow Box Valley Grassy Forest – Middle Yarra (EVC 47)
  • 19 Long-leaf Box Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 46 Silvertop Ash Heathy Dry Forest (EVC 20)
  • 21 Broad-leaf Peppermint Heathy Dry Forest (EVC 20)
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