This Caladenia flower is typical of many orchids. It has an outer whorl of three sepals, an inner whorl of three petals, and a central column of male and female reproductive organs. In most orchids the sepals and petals are showy and colourful. Sepals protect the bud, and in many orchids the top sepal forms a hood. One petal (lip) is usually quite different from the other two, and serves as a landing platform for pollinating insects. Male and female sexual organs are fused into a column in the centre.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Dick Veitch
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