Road Trip 2017 – Listing of Orchids found

Over our 20 day road trip we were lucky enough to find more than 44 different orchids. I have listed them below with almost all pictured and sorted firstly into their Genus then the first date found.


Jug orchid (Pterostylis recurva) 01/09/2017

Midget greenhood (Pterostylis mutica) 01/09/2017

Banded greenhood (Pterostylis vittata) 01/09/2017

Frog greenhood (Pterostylis sargentii) 01/09/2017

Dark banded greenhood (Pterostylis sanguinea) 01/09/2017

Hairy stemmed snail orchid (Pterostylis sp. ‘inland’) 02/09/2017

Dwarf bird orchid (Pterostylis sp. ‘dwarf’) 20/09/2017


Western tiny blue orchid (Cyanicula aperta) 01/09/2017

Dainty blue orchid (Cyanicula amplexans) 05/09/2017

Blue china orchid (Cyanicula gemmata) 18/09/2017


Red beaks (Pyrorchis nigricans) 01/09/2017


Sugar orchid (Ericksonella saccharata)


Western wheatbelt donkey orchid (Diuris brachyscapa) 01/09/2017

Mottled donkey orchid (Diuris suffusa) 03/09/2017

Yellow granite donkey orchid (Diuris hazeliae) 05/09/2017

Pale donkey orchid (Diuris sp. ‘mid-north’) 15/09/2017

Dainty donkey orchid (Diuris refracta) 16/09/2017

Common bee orchid (Diuris decrementa) 16/09/2017

Common donkey orchid (Diuris corymbosa) 17/09/2017


Little laughing leek orchid (Prasophyllum gracile) 01/09/2017


Cowslip orchid (Caladenia flava subsp. flava) 01/09/2017

Pink candy orchid (Caladenia hirta subsp. rosea) 01/09/2017

Common spider orchid (Caladenia vulgata) 01/09/2017

Chameleon spider orchid (Caladenia dimidia) 01/09/2017

Western wispy spider orchid (Caladenia microchila) 01/09/2017

Ballerina spider orchid (Caladenia melanema) 01/09/2017

Little pink fairy (Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans) 02/09/2017

Fringed mantis orchid (Caladenia falcata) 02/09/2017

Dancing spider orchid (Caladenia discoidea) 02/09/2017

Crimson spider orchid (Caladenia footeana) 02/09/2017

Chapman’s spider orchid (Caladenia chapmanii) 02/09/2017

Spectacular spider orchid (Caladenia x spectabilis) 02/09/2017

Ant orchid (Caladenia roei) 02/09/2017

Drooping spider orchid (Caladenia radialis) 03/09/2017

Blood spider orchid (Caladenia filifera) 03/09/2017

Pink fairies (Caladenia latifolia) 19/09/2017

Purple-veined spider orchid (Caladenia doutchiae) 19/09/2017

Pendant spider orchid (Caladenia pendens subsp. pendens) 19/09/2017

Red thread spider orchid (Caladenia erythronema) 20/09/2017


Blue beard (Pheladenia deformis) 02/09/2017


Lemon-scented sun orchid (Thelymitra antennifera) 02/09/2017

Granite sun orchid (Thelymitra petrophila) 9/9/2017


Purple enamel orchid (Elythanthera brunonis) 15/9/2017


Elbow orchid (Spiculaea ciliata) 19/09/2017

Road Trip – Day 20 – Harrismith to Home


After having breakfast we make our way north to Dudinin which was a quaint little town but with no real prospects for orchid hunting we move on further north to a place called Jitarning. We park next to the CBH wheat bins and head into the bush adjacent. The area proves to be thick with Donkey orchids with a small patch of Pink candy orchids (Caladenia hirta subsp. rosea) found.

The donkey orchids appear to be Yellow granite donkey orchids (Diuris hazeliae) as they are larger and brighter yellow than the ones found in Harrismith.

So many donkey orchids but we need to move on. Well not to far as we cross the Williams-Kondinin Road and visit the bush the other side. The only orchid found over this side was the Midget greenhood (Pterostylis mutica). On walking back to the Triton we discover the area we had been exploring was in fact the Jitarning Nature Reserve.

Next stop is the North Jitarning Nature Reserve a few kilometres north on the western side of the road. After parking the Triton we make our way west into the bush and our first find is the ever faithful Purple enamel orchid (Elythanthera brunonis). In fact they were everywhere in this reserve.

Further hunting and we found some Frog greenhoods (Pterostylis sargentii) growing underneath some bushes.

Then even further hidden under bushes Deb spies a bird orchid. Further specimens found, which all appear to be Dwarf bird orchids (Pterosylis sp. ‘dwarf’) as they are found between Eurardy Station and Peak Charles during August and September. We first found this orchid back in August 2016 near Corrigin.

Further Fringe mantis orchids are found as are more Donkey orchids.

We were also lucky enough to find a spider orchid, which I am naming, Red thread spider orchid (Caladenia erythronema) as they flower August to early October in locations between Nyabing and Mukinbudin.

We then make tracks for Kulin, to fuel up, then head off on the Tin Horse Hwy. After checking out some of the great Tin horses we make our way to Buckley’s Breakaway for lunch.

On the walk from the car park / picnic area we find some Donkey orchids. Nothing else found on the walk around the breakaway, however it was an impressive sight.

We now head further east, till we again reach Dragon Rocks Nature Reserve. At the northern end of the reserve, whilst earlier on the trip we were at the southern end. We find what we hoped was the road south, which dissects the reserve, and travel along slowly with heads out the windows looking for orchids. They proved more elusive than before but we did find our first ones. A finished Jug orchid then some Frog greenhoods.

It was more than a half hour later, before any more orchids were found. Red beaks (Pyrorchis nigricans) were a surprise find.

Further south we come across some spider orchids. From their appearance I will name these Chameleon spider orchid (Caladenia dimidia) due to the yellowish colouring, dark brownish tail filaments and backswept slightly elevated petals.

A solitary Cowslip orchid (Caladenia flava subsp. flava) and Jug orchid (Pterostylis recurva) were found a little further down the track, however as time was slipping away and we had previously visited the south of the Dragon Rocks N. R., we headed straight for our last stop of the day, being the Rock View Nature Reserve.

It is now past 5.30pm when we arrive at Rock View N. R. so we quickly have a look around. First orchid I find is the Midget greenhood, whilst Debbie finds more spider orchids.

From the appearance I believe these to be further Chameleon spider orchids.

Due to the inclement weather we did not wish to set up camp, however as we were unable to find overnight accommodation, this stop proved to be the final stop of our  2017 Road Trip.

11 orchid species found on the final day.

Road Trip – Day 19 – Tutanning Nature Reserve to Harrismith


After breakfast we go for a more leisurely search around our campsite for any orchids we may have missed in our late search yesterday. Ant orchid (Caladenia roei), Sugar orchid (Ericksonella saccharata), Cowslip orchid (Caladenia flava subsp. flava) were again located as was one Fringed mantis orchid (Caladenia falcata) with a dangling labellum. Also found was a yet to open Thelymitra species.

We then hurried back to camp, packed up a headed back along the track we drove down late yesterday afternoon. First up were some Donkey orchids, which due to the location they must be Western wheatbelt donkey orchids (Diuris brachyscapa).

Further along we find more Cowslip orchids plus better specimens of the Fringed mantis orchid.

And finally after a very long spell we finally find another Pterostylis specimen, the Jug orchid (Pterostylis recurva).

Our final stop along the bush track was at a small granite outcrop, where we found some Lemon-scented sun orchids (Thelymitra antennifera)  and some yet to flower Elbow orchids (Spiculaea ciliata)

We leave Tutanning N. R. and head on down to Wickepin, where we have a yummy lunch, before heading over to visit Toolibin Lake N. R.. On the track in we spy many Fringe mantis orchids, some with two flowers per stem.

We decided to take a walk alongside the track to see what other orchids may be around. We came across Cowslip orchids, Dancing spider orchid (Caladenia discoidea) and Pink fairies (Caladenia latifolia).

We then drove to the parking area and attempted the lake walk, however it was closed due to flooding from recent heavy rain, which had washed away some of the infrastructure. I decided to walk back along the track and Deb drove the Triton, which proved fortuitous as I found some Ant orchids and Deb found some spider orchids.

Drooping spider orchid (Caladenia radialis) is the obvious specie as it has a smooth margined labellum with distinctive striping.

Final find before hitting the Wickepin-Harrismith Rd is a great Pink fairy twin.

As soon as we got on the Wickepin-Harrismith Road we took a track near Dulbining Lake,  that seemed to run adjacent to the road and drove along in 1st gear with our heads hanging out the window looking. Some spider orchids are seen on the left hand side of the track, so we alight from the Triton to check them out. They appear to be Common spider orchid (Caladenia vulgata).

Moving slowly along this track we find many other orchids, starting with Cowslip orchids, Fringed mantis orchid and Pink candy orchids (Caladenia hirta subsp. rosea).


Then we find what we initially thought were more Ant orchids. However on closer inspection we have found Purple-veined spider orchid (Caladenia doutchiae) which flowers August to October between Mullewa and Ravensthorpe. In the middle of all these is a lone Ant orchid.

Final orchids found before getting back on the sealed road were what appeared at first to be Common spider orchids. However the flowers had much broader labellum’s and if they were fully unfurled, long petals and sepals. I am going to name these Pendant spider orchid (Caladenia pendens subsp. pendens) which flower August to early October in a range from Wongan Hills to Walpole.

Travelling west we arrive at Harrismith and as the weather was looking like rain we decide to book a room rather than risk getting our canvas camper wet. Rather than a room we take the donger which has its own shower and toilet. Was really cheap and rough but was sufficient for 1 night. After unpacking into the bedroom we decide to take a drive around the self drive wildflower tour. Our first orchids were more Fringed  mantis orchids. (Mud Map SE 10)

Also found were Western wheatbelt donkey orchids, Sugar orchid and Jug orchids.

Back just before sunset, so we have a shower and get changed into fresh clothes, then make our way over to the Oasis Hotel for a meal, game of pool and a few drinks to celebrate finding 15 different orchids.

Road Trip – Day 18 – Walyormouring to Tutanning Nature Reserve


After breaking camp we head through Goomalling to our first planned stop, Cunderdin Hill lookout. Lots of broken glass and pink everlastings with blue cornflowers thrown in, were the only finds. We made our way down to town centre and visited the famous Ettamogah Pub for lunch.

 After lunch we head off towards Quairading, however we notice a sign for Toapin Weir (Featured Image) so decide to check it out. What an amazing hidden gem this is. Great granite outcrop to explore, flushing toilets, fresh water supply, gas BBQ and picnic tables. We would have stayed here the night had it not been so early in the day.

Now off to explore for orchids with our first find being some spent Prasophyllum gracile complex orchids closely followed by some donkey orchids. Location would suggest them to be Western wheatbelt donkey orchid (Diuris brachyscapa). 

Next up we start finding Sun orchids that have yet to open which is frustrating given our long wait in Charles Darwin Reserve. However we finally stumble across some that have opened. The Granite sun orchid (Thelymitra petrophila) which blooms August to November from Mullewa to South Australia was a sight for strained eyes.

 Much better specimens of the Little laughing leek orchid (Prasophyllum gracile) including single plants to small clumps of plants were found on the walk back to the Triton.

Now we head off for our over night stay location which we have not decided upon just yet.. How unusual for us.. NOT. We bypassed Quairading instead driving through Dangin and south past Lake Mears to Tutanning Nature Reserve, located in the Dutarning Range. Totally unaware if any suitable camping site would be found we headed West into the reserve and on the drive in we spied some Cowslip orchids (Caladenia flava subsp. flava). However as light was fading fast, given it was after 5pm, we didn’t stop to take photos as we wanted to find our overnight stop first.  By chance we came across a wonderful cleared site, which must have been some sort of farm or townsite, now abandoned. We quickly set up camp then went exploring. First up we both came across more Cowslips.

Next orchid found by Deb was a Blue china orchid (Cyanicula gemmata), which flower August to early November in a range that stretches from Kalbarri to Israelite Bay.  My next orchid on the other hand was an Ant orchid (Caladenia roei). We then quickly moved to each others location to grab some photos.

Also found were Sugar orchids (Ericksonella saccharata) . Light is fading fast so we make our way back to camp when we stumble across another Blue china orchid.

Seven species found for the day

Road Trip – Day 17 – Petrudor to Walyormouring


We wake to another beautiful spring morning, have breakfast , break camp and head south to Ballidu for morning tea. We check out the area where we found numerous orchids last year in August, however this time we only find some donkey orchids. As they have erect petals and broad, spreading lateral lobes to the labellum, I believe them to be Pale donkey orchids (Diuris sp. ‘mid-north’).

Further south we go turning east at Kondut, then travelling south again to Reynoldson Flora Reserve. No orchids found but an unusual grevillea was prolific. Prickly Toothbrushes (Grevillea armigera). Verticordia the flower this reserve is famous for was just starting to flower as well.

We pop into Wongan Hills, buy some supplies, have a counter lunch at the pub then head up to the Wongan Wildflower Walk to see if we can be lucky with finding some orchids. Deb is the lucky one who finds some very small Frog greenhoods (Pterostylis sargentii)  growing under bushes. Last August we found many spider orchids under the same bushes. Not this year though.

Further along the walk we find some Purple enamel orchids (Elythranthera brunonis)  and some donkey orchids. From their features I am naming these Common donkey orchid (Diuris corymbosa) as they flower August to October and range from Gingin to Bunbury. Our location is a little ways Northeast however Atlas of Living Australia has a recorded sighting near Wongan Hills.

Further along we finally find something from the Caladenia family. Ant orchid (Caladenia roei) found under a prickle bush. Taking photos proved a challenge however we had to get a shot.  Next came patches of Cowslip orchids (Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Then on the way back to the Triton we find more donkey and enamel orchids.

Leaving Wongan Hills we take the wrong turn which heads us south so we picked another route to take us back  north to Gathercole Nature Reserve. We spend the next 40 mins scouring over the granite outcrops looking for the elusive new find. More donkey orchids and Cowslips orchids were found plus a first for the day; (Prasophyllum gracile complex).  Unsure of exact species due to it being well past it’s prime.

We then move North East to Dingo Rock Nature Reserve where further donkey and leek orchids are found. Exact species again not known which is a little disappointing, but we are no experts.

We then made tracks East to Manmanning Nature Reserve, however no real place to pull over and as time was moving along we decided to travel south west to Oak Park picnic area to camp for the night. This little place has toilets facilities and picnic table and was situated on the banks of a creek that flows into Walyormourning Lake. A quick look around but nothing found.

6 named species found and others unable to be named. Not too bad a day. Here’s to tomorrow.

Road Trip – Day 16 – Arrino to Petrudor


From our camp in Arrino we back track west then south to Hydraulic Road where we make our first stop of the day. Nothing found so we drive further east to a creek crossing then stop for another look. Wow there are so many Purple enamel orchids (Elythranthera brunonis) and then on the other side of the creek Deb finds some Cowslip orchids (Caladenia flava subsp. flava). 

This was also the area we were directed to find some spider orchids. Spent Pterostylis found first then some spider orchids well passed their best.

So back to Three Springs to fuel up and onwards through Carnamah to Bunjil. Turning south we travel through Latham and make a orchid hunting stop at Buntine Rock. (Mud Map N38) We park the Triton and make our way to the rock by foot. Lemon-scented sun orchids (Thelymitra antennifera) are the first to be found , quickly followed by many small Donkey orchids. They appear to be Pale donkey orchids (Diuris sp. ‘mid-north’) as they are very pale in colour and small in size.

Other donkey orchids found that I am unable to name. They did not fit the description given to the two species that are recorded from around these parts.

Confusing aspects such as : More colourful;  lateral sepals that hang rather than being reflexed; reflexed or upright petals; upright dorsal sepal. Pictures posted as evidence of these variations.

Our next orchid hunting stop was at Miamoon Reserve (Mud Map N40), which is southwest of Wubin. We walked around this flat granite outcrop which still had some wet areas which allowed us to find a new species for this trip. First up though were more donkey orchids which now appear to be Dainty donkey orchids (Diuris refracta), which flower late July to early September between Bindoon and Northampton. Also found were more Lemon-scented sun orchids.

The new species found is Common bee orchid (Diuris decrementa) which flowers from late August to early November in an area from North of Perth to Esperance. We must be in the northern margins of its territory.

Final orchids found for the day were some spent Little laughing leek orchids and more Lemon-scented sun orchids.

We then made tracks heading south through Dalwallinu and turning east at Pithara. Finally we turn south down Petrudor Rd and make camp at Petrudor Rock. Before the sun sets we go for a walk around the rock but find no orchids.

6 species flowering with 3 other s past their prime. Not too bad a day.

Road Trip – Day 15 – Canna to Arrino


After breakfast I take a little walk around our campsite in Canna (Mud Map N30) and finally find some orchids. It has been many days since we left Charles Darwin Reserve where the last orchids found were located. Pale donkey orchid (Diuris sp. ‘mid-north’) appears to be the orchid found, with only a few scattered individuals encountered. These orchids flower late August to late September and are found between Moora and Mingenew. Canna being only 60kms NW of Mingenew.

We say our goodbyes to Richard at the Canna Hall, then before heading off, we decide to take the Wildflower walk to Canna Church Rock. First up were more donkey orchids but then we find some Dainty blue orchids (Cyanicula amplexans). At the rock picnic area we come across some Lemon scented sun orchids (Thelymitra antennifera) and some Cowslip orchids (Caladenia flava subsp. flava), plus more donkey orchids.

After the walk we had awesome showers for a donation, then made our way south to Bilya Rock. No real parking area, so we pull alongside the track as best we could with camper trailer in tow. Onto the rock and the only colour immediately visible is Yellow. Lemon-scented sun orchids, Pale donkey orchids and Cowslip orchids were found. Some of the donkey orchids could be Dainty donkey orchids due to the reflexed petals however it is very difficult to tell.

We checked out War Rock which was surrounded by paddocks, so was overrun with weeds. Time to make tracks for Three Springs as we had to get to the bank. We also took the time to have another counter lunch, this time at the Commercial Hotel. We asked for orchid locations at the Tourist bureau and was given a map with places marked for possible sightings, however the lady informed us it has not been a great year and things flowered earlier than usual this season. We made our way around Dookanooka Nature Reserve and was lucky enough to find some Cowslip orchids early on, then much later some Purple enamel orchids (Elythanthera brunonis). First for this season as they flower August to early November on a large range from Kalbarri to Israelite Bay.

Nothing else found so we make tracks to Arrino for our next overnight camp.               Only 5 known species found today, which was a slow start to our orchid hunting as we move south away from the dry north.