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Caladenia congesta


Caladenia congestablacktongue finger-orchid

Group:Magnoliophyta (flowering plants), Liliopsida (monocots), Orchidales, Orchidaceae
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: endangered
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Not listed
Found in Tasmania and elsewhere
Click to enlarge
​Caladenia congesta (blacktongue finger-orchid) is a small herb, found mainly in dry heathland and heathy woodland habitats in lowland areas of the northern half of Tasmania. While recorded from over 20 locations, the data suggest that the total population in Tasmania is small as most sites support only 1 or 2 plants and the species is likely to occupy well less than 1 ha in total, making the species susceptible to losses from chance events. The species and its habitat face a very high risk of inadvertent losses as the precise site of many subpopulations is unknown and the species may avoid detection as it tends to flower and be identifiable infrequently; flowering in response to disturbance such as fire, in non-drought years only. The species has been seen from only 4 sites in the last 20 years suggesting a serious decline. The most important needs of the species are to prevent destruction and degradation of known and potential habitat, and to promote recruitment through burning and/or slashing habitat.

A complete species management profile is not currently available for this species. Check for further information on this page and any relevant Activity Advice.

Key Points

  • Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
  • Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.


Key Survey reliability more info
M Best time to survey
M Potential time to survey
M Poor time to survey
M Non-survey period

To ensure you follow the law - check whether your survey requires a permit. Always report any new records to the Natural Values Atlas, or send the information direct to the Threatened Species Section. Refer to the Activity Advice: Surveying page for background information.

Caladenia congesta Spring Summer Autumn Winter
blacktongue finger-orchid S S O O N N D D J J F F M M A A M M J J J J A A

  • ​Flowers are required for the identification of this ground orchid which dies back to subterranean tubers after flowering. There is a definite peak in flowering in the latter half of November but in colder areas this species may flower into early January. This is a highly distinctive species and finished flowers may be identifiable by dissection because of the highly distinctive labellum.
  • The species occurs in heathy/shrubby woodland and open forest, usually in dry sites on sandy and loamy, often gravelly, soils and among grass tussocks on slopes.

Helping the species

Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation






Changing water flow / quality

Use of chemicals


Further information

​Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image)​.

​​Cite as: Threatened Species Section (). (): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. ​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on .

Contact details: Threatened Species Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania​, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7001. Phone (1300 368 550).

Permit: A permit is required under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 to 'take' (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen or products of a listed species. Additional permits may also be required under other Acts or regulations to take, disturb or interfere with any form of wildlife or its products, (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may also depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management. ​​​​​