Caleana major or flying duck orchid is a remarkable Australian orchid. The flower resembles a flying duck with backward stretched wings.
So far it has not been possible to grow them: they live in symbiosis with a fungus and without this they weaken rapidly. The orchid dies after 1 or 2 years.
Small cold terrestrial orchid with a single upright green leave, reddish below, up to 12 cm long and 8 mm wide.
It blooms from September to January with an erected flower spike of 15-50 cm with 1-5 hairy flowers of 1.5-2 cm. The flower is reddish brown and sometimes greenish with brown spots.
The flower is fertilized by a sawfly. When landing on the column, the labellum lowers on the sawfly and it can leave only by passing along the pollen.
Flying duck orchid
Caleana minor, Caleya minor, Caleya major
Australia: Queensland to South Australia and Tasmania
Sand and sandstone soils in open moorland and woods, 0-600 m altitude
Caleana: in honor of George Caley, a plant collector
Major: from the Latin major (bigger)
- Caleana major: Peter Woodard