Orchids of any variety have an air of mystery to them. They have historically been hunted for and sought out by those that long to see rare and unusual blooms growing in places we don’t normally associate with flowers.
Helen and her family live at the centre of Western Australia’s Wildflower Region. Landscape and flowers on mass that might seem as commonplace to the Ansells, draw crowds every year of tourists from all over Australia and the rest of the world.
“Probably the prize flower for many flower enthusiasts to find are orchids.
While the Spider Orchid, found growing in many areas of Western Australia including around Mullewa where I live, is not one of the rarest of the orchids – it is still a treat to discover. Often found hidden under trees and camouflaged amongst the foliage.
Around Mullewa there are three Wildflower Walks that have been designed for the tourists to enjoy.
Last year we had one of the best wildflower seasons in 10 years (due to the right amount of rain and sun at the right time) and many delighted tourists in my Pop Up Art/Café Shop showed me photos they had taken of whole clumps of Spider Orchids along one of the tracks.”Helen Ansell
With it’s bold shape and colouring, the Spider Orchid is begging to be painted!
It flowers from September to October and hopefully this year’s wildflower season will reveal hidden Spider Orchids for wildflower and art-lover’s to discover.
“The White Spider Orchid’s scientific name is Caladenia longicauda.
This is a perennial, deciduous, herb with an underground tuber and a single hairy leaf, 80–120 mm (3–5 in) long and 8–12 mm (0.3–0.5 in) wide. Each plant has up to 4 flowers.
It occurs in the Jarrah forests and coastal plain between Bunbury and Cliff Head near Dongara in Western Australia, where it grows in woodland and heath in sand over limestone.”Don Miller
The White Spider Orchid is now available for purchase as part of the Helen Ansell Fine Art Print Collection.