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Scientific Name : Caleana major
Common Name : Large duck orchid
Height : 400 mm
Description : A distinctive and unusual orchid, but nevertheless easily overlooked as its colour merges into the undergrowth. The flowers are aptly named as resembling ducks in flight. The flower is upside down, and the head of the duck is the Labellum. This is sensitive and when an insect lands on the Column, the Labellum snaps down, trapping it and forcing it to press against the Pollinia and Stigma on its way out. The Labellum then slowly resets for the next insect visit. The solitary leaf is Lanceolate, up to 120mm long by 8mm wide. It appears pinkish, being green with reddish streaks and spots. The flower stem bears up to 5 flowers. The flower is upside down, with the Column conspicuous, with deep chestnut wings, so that it forms a cup to receive the Labellum, The Labellum is shaped like a duck's head (shiny black) and bill (yellow). The other Perianth segments are slender, chestnut, 15 mm long. The lateral Sepals are swept back and form the wings of the
Habitat : Heaths and open forest and well-drained sandy and gravelly soils.
Distribution : New South Wales to South Australia and Tasmania. In Victoria, widespread in the Southern half of the state, with isolated records in the North. In the Park, found in the outer half of the Stringybark Ridge track and on Silvertop Hill near Brewsters Road.
Flowering Season : November and January
Family : Orchidaceae
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Large duck-orchid flower on Stringybark Ridge

Large duck-orchid flower on Stringybark Ridge
November 26th 1989

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