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Flying Duck Orchid

Caleana major

Caleana major
• Flying Duck Orhcid
• Common name
• Classification
• Images

• Orchidaceae
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Flying Duck Orchid • Caleana major
The Flying Duck Orchid is a rather unusual looking flower. It looks like a tiny brown and blue duck with its wings outstretched. Its Latin name is Caleana major.

This flower is found in all Australian states except for the Northern Territory. It enjoys sandy soils the best, and is found in woodlands and heaths especially. It flowers in spring and summer.

The flower on the orchid is actually upside down, having the labellum, which is usually on the bottom, on the top, and resembling a duck’s head.

All the flowers are on a long stem coming up from the middle of the flower that can be up to half a metre tall. The leaves on the orchid are long and narrow, much like native grasses.

As with many native orchids, the Flying Duck Orchid has a trigger that traps insects inside it. When a mosquito or a fly comes to investigate the flower, the head of the duck, the labellum, swings down and pushes the bug into the body of the duck, which is actually a hollow pouch. Once inside, the insect gets coated in pollen. The flower holds the fly prisoner for about 20 minutes and then lets it go. Then the insect flies away and finds another flower to put the pollen into.

Flying Duck Orchid (Caleana Major) - Katrina © 2006

Common name Where Found
Flying Duck Orchid Found in all Australian states except for the Northern Territory, spring, winter
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum Spermatophytina
Infraphylum Angiospermae
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Liliidae
Superorder: Lilianae
Order: Orchidales
Family: Orchidaceae
Genus: Caleana
Species: C. major
Botanical Name: Caleana major
Source: Zipcode Zoo - Caleana major
Flying Duck Orchid • Images
Tiny Caladenia (Caladenia pusilla), Lime Bay Nature Reserve, Tasman Peninsula, TAS.
Flying Duck Orchid (Caleana Major), Valley Heights, Blue Mountains - Katrina © 2006 Flying Duck Orchid (Caleana Major), Valley Heights, Blue Mountains - Katrina © 2006
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