Hybrid theory for a peculiar Ongerup orchid

Saskia AdystiGreat Southern Herald

Terry Dunham from Ongerup recently found this interesting native orchid along Carny Road, east of Ongerup.

It is a fringed mantis orchid — Caladenia falcata — that does not have the upswept lateral sepals found in most fringed mantis orchid flowers.

This flower has a lime green colour, whereas normal specimens would have red and green petals.

Mr Dunham said there was a possibility this orchid was a cross with another Caladenia species that grows in the surrounding area.

He said during this time of the year Ongerup will become an orchid hotspot, and he had discovered many orchid species in the area over the years.

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Mr Dunham lives in Ongerup and spends most of his days in the bush as he hunts for new orchid species locally and along the southern coast.

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