Plant of Interest

Caleana Major

(The Flying Duck Orchid)

This very unique orchid is native to Australia growing in the Eastern States, South Australia as well as Tasmania.
The plants grow to 50 cms in height and grow from tubers. There has been studies as to how to propagate these from
seed but apparently without success. The reason for this is mainly due the fact they are only found growing in
association with native eucalyptus trees.  There is a soil fungus in these situations which enables the orchids to grow
in tandem with the eucalypts.  The plants are a protected species and for this reason they cannot be grown commercially
or by orchid hobbyists.The orchid has an intricate pollination feature, when an insect lands on the column the labellum
drops down and traps the insect which then has to find it’s way out via the pollinia and stigma subsequently pollinating the flower.
They can be quite difficult to find as they grow among dry grasses and are not easily seen.