Caladenia lyallii


lyallii: Named after David Lyall (1817-1895), 19th century Scottish naturalist and surgeon with the Royal Navy, who explored Antarctica, New Zealand, the Arctic and North America and was a lifelong friend of Sir Joseph Hooker.

Common Name(s)

None Known

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Caladenia lyallii Hook.f.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class



Stegostyla lyallii (Hook.f.) D.L.Jones et M.A.Clem.


Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands


Montane in tussock grassland, subalpine scrub, or in beech (Nothofagus Blume) forest. Also common in montane pine plantations.


Mostly solitary, terrestrial, hirsute, perennial herb. Plant at flowering up to 200 mm tall. Stem erect, slender and wiry, green to dark reddish-green, pilose hairy near base otherwise glandular-pubescent. Leaf solitary, up to 180 mm long, green, linear-lanceolate, pilose hairy. Floral bracts 1-4, foliaceous, closely sheathing stem, dark green to reddish-green. Flowers 2(-4) in a lax raceme, ovary usually > bract. Perianth up to 40 mm diameter, white (very rarely pink), rarely obscurely sriped with red, externally glandular-pubescent. Sepals elliptic-oblong; dorsal sepal wider and arching over column; lateral sepals wide-spreading, subacute. Petals similar to lateral sepals. Labellum trilobed; mid-lobe narrowly triangular and recurved; lateral lobes broad, transversely barred with red; calli stpitate, clavate to ellipsoid, yellow, in four more or less regular rows on disc, smaller and more cordwed on mid-lobe and its margin. Column curved; wings of uniform width from base to anther, tranversely barred with red.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from Caladenia atradenia by the usually 2-flowered, rather than solitary, white rather than dark green to reddish green flowers, and by the white labellum with red transverse bars, rather than initially white grading into dark purple-black labellum; and also by the yellow rather than dark purple-black calli.


November - December

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


December - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult - should not be removed from the wild.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 48

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.

Taxonomic Notes

Jones et al. (2001) erected the genus Stegostyla for what they regarded as a distinct clade of South-eastern Australian, Tasmanian and New Zealand orchids that had usually been referred to as Caladenia. Subsequently Hopper et al. (2004) showed how the reorganisation of Caladenia by Jones et al. (2001) was unworkable and they recommended a return to Caladenia and the other allied Australian genera that had been recognised previously. Following discussion with S. Hopper and P. Weston (pers. comm., 2011, 2014) the treatment of Hopper et al. (2004) is preferred to that of Jones et al. (2001) and so is followed here.

New Zealand populations of Caladenia lyallii are somewhat variable and some orchidologists maintain that the Tasmanian C. alpina is also present in New Zealand. However Hopper et al. (2004) treat that species as a synonym of Caladenia lyallii - this needs further investigation. Irrespective of that view, as currently circumscribed C. lyallii remains extremely variable with respect to flower size and number of calli. Some of these forms have a clear geographic basis and they may warrant formal taxonomic recognition.


Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (12 February 2007). Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970).

References and further reading

Hopper, S.D.; Brown, A.P. 2004: Robert Brown's Caladenia revisited, including a revision of its sister genera Cyanicula, Ericksonella and Pheladenia (Caladeniinae: Orchidaceae). Australian Systematic Botany 17: 1-240.

Jones, D.L.; Molloy, B.P.J.; Clements, M.A. 1997: Three new species and a new combination in Caladenia R.Br. (Orchidaceae) from New Zealand. The Orchadian 12: 221-229.

Jones, D.L.; Clements, M.A.; Sharma, I.K.; Mackenzie, A.M. 2001: A New Classification of Caladenia R.Br. (Orchidaceae). The Orchadian 13: 389-419.

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.

This page last updated on 3 Dec 2014