I recently received an email forward from a friend with an incredible slideshow of some of the most beautiful orchids I’ve ever seen. Included in that slideshow was a number of unique animal-like orchids. I thought it would be fun to learn a little bit more about these and share them here on my blog. Here’s the first amazing orchid:
The Caleana major orchid, native to the southern and eastern regions of Australia, is most commonly referred to as the flying duck orchid (for obvious reasons). It’s an itty bitty thing with flowers that measure just 1/2-3/4 of an inch in length.
The length and unique shape of the labellum is the perfect resting spot for pollinating insects. Sawflies landing on the column will become trapped in the labellum (which shifts downward from the weight of the sawfly), forcing the sawfly to brush against the pollen on the way out. Don’t you just love how sneaky orchids are when it comes to forcing pollination?!
From what I’ve read, it’s also an extremely difficult orchid to propagate as it survives in the wild with the help of a fungus found only in certain parts of Australia.
Oh what I would give to see this little guy in person! I don’t know about you, but I have no plans of traveling to Australia anytime soon, so I hope you enjoy the photos of the flying duck (below) as much as I do.
Just another reminder of how amazing nature can be!
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Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,
The Orchid Care Lady
Photo Credits (in order):