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Stuart Mill Spider Orchid

The Stuart Mill Spider-orchid (Caladenia cretacea) is an elegant and dainty little orchid that's endemic to Victoria and listed as threatened (Endangered) in Victoria.

This delicate flower is found on J.C. Griffin Nature Reserve, a 96-hectare reserve 185km north-west of Melbourne. The species has long petals – white with a reddish brown tip – and a 25cm stem. It flowers from late August to September and is very tricky to spot.

Stuart Mill Spider Orchid at J.C. Griffin Reserve. Photo Matthew Newton.
Stuart Mill Spider Orchid at J.C. Griffin Reserve. Photo Matthew Newton.

The Stuart Mill Spider-orchid has a complex, interconnected relationship with its surrounding environment and is a good indicator of ecosystem health.

Land clearing, grazing by stock and feral herbivores and weeds have pushed the Stuart Mill Spider-orchid close to extinction and continue to challenge the species.

Just 12 plants were found on J.C. Griffin Reserve in 2008. However, in partnership with Amaryllis Environmental and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, a reintroduction program was started, which saw the number of Stuart Mill Spider-orchids increase to 186 in 2017.

Ecologist Julie Radford hand pollinating a Stuart Mill Spider Orchid.
Ecologist Julie Radford hand pollinating a Stuart Mill Spider Orchid.

We're continuing to provide a sanctuary for the threatened Stuart Mill Spider-orchid on our J.C. Griffin Nature Reserve. We’re also continuing to expand our reserve network in the Kara Kara-Wedderburn priority landscape in North Central Victoria.

Stuart Mill Spider Orchid Bushgift card.

A Stuart Mill Spider Orchid Gift Card is a virtual gift that supports our work protecting rare orchids in the wild. See our bushgifts card range for more.

Donate today to help us continue this and other vital conservation work. Most of our operating costs are funded by generous individuals.

Donations over $2 are tax-deductible and we can't thank you enough for support.