Category Archives: Caleana

Ducks

Currently there is not a lot happening in the orchid world.  So today’s post is all about duck orchids.

As I had a bit more spare time over the last couple of months, I decided to try and capture the beauty of the Small Duck orchid in a pencil drawing.  The flower would easily fit inside a thumb, so my drawing is substantially larger than the actual orchid.   I did draw from a photograph that I had taken.

There is somethings so beautiful when you meet someone who is truly excited about learning.  And what’s more a teacher learns from their students.  Recently at an orchid society meeting, one of the members was very excitedly telling me about recently seeing the duck orchids and discovering how the flowers behaved and were pollinated.

I was able to point out that the duck orchid actually has a sensitive labellum, a feature that is common is several species of Pterostylis and in Bunochilus, Urochilus and OligochaetochilusThe ‘head’ of the duck orchid flips down into the ‘body’ of the flower trapping any pollinator.  This can be seen in the centre right picture.  However I had never really thought about where the pollen of the flower is, until the member asked me about a yellow spot on all his photographs!  The pollen sits at the base of the body which means the pollinator has to pass over it to escape out of the orchid and thus pollinates the orchids.  It can be seen on the duck on the far left.

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Some of my favourites

So I’m back!  I’ve enjoyed having a break from blogging while my non-orchid life has been busy and full of pleasant surprises.  Anyway it has been lovely to see that people are still looking at this blog, but I do feel a bit guilty for having not posted recently.  I’ve heard from others that they know someone who reads this, and I find that really nice to know that I make others happy by sharing orchids.  Please say “hi” and let me know where you are.  I would love to hear from you all.

So for today’s post, I’m just going to re-share a few of my favourite pictures from this year.  I did not get out as often as I would have liked, but I always looked forward to hunting for orchids.

Eriochilus cuculata (1)

First off we have Eriochilus cucullatus.  A friend told me about a lovely patch of Eriochilus cucullatus and gave me the coordinates to find the colony.  There were well over a hundred plants scattered across quite a distance.  I really like this pictures with the pollen sitting on the labellum.  I still don’t know how the pollen arrived there.

Fungi

In June, my digital camera tricked me into believing that it had stopped working which worked out very conveniently because I was able to upgrade to a digital SLR camera with multiple lenses.  It’s been great fun to learn to use it properly.

Pterostylis curta

The picture above was lots of fun to take.  The orchids are in a pot, and I set up the camera on the tripod, and zoomed in from a long way away.  The picture was actually taken indoors with the window to the front garden as the backdrop.  There was just enough afternoon sun to capture the golden colours.  This image has not been edited.

Arachnorchis rigida

I was really excited to see the Arachnorchis rigida this year, after not having seen it for awhile.  I love the crispness of the flowers.  At this point I had not learnt how to colour correct the camera so there is too much blue, but I think it kind of worked for this picture.

Arachnorchis tentaculata

Eventually I learnt how to colour correct.  The bush does have a beautiful golden colour which I feel has been captured in the above picture.  I did not realized that these two spider orchids had different coloured stems until I was looking through my pictures later.  I took this picture when I was planning to photograph a field of cockatoo orchids.  That day we were expecting a storm, and thankfully I was able to take my pictures before the wind had picked up and while the sun was still out!  Below are the cockatoo orchids.

Glossodia major

While the field was still spectacular, many of the flowers had already finished.  Maybe next year, I can catch them earlier.

Caleana major

Everyone’s favourite, the large duck orchid.

duck orchidThis year finished by seeing both the duck orchids.  These are always a favourite and every year I seem to forget that they are smaller than I think!  The whole flower of the small duck orchid would be less than 1.5cm high.  I particularly like how these two small duck orchids turned out.

Below is a gallery of other pictures that I enjoyed taking.

Orchids in the forest

Forestry SA land has some of South Australia’s most beautiful and exquisite orchids growing on its lands.  While it is predominately focused on pine tree plantations, it does recognize the importance of conserving our rare and beautiful orchids.  Here is a short film by Julian Pitcher, from Victoria, sharing his finds on Forestry land from a few months ago.

The small ducks came out a week or so after filming.

Enjoy.

Reflection and moving forward

OrchidNotes has been a fun outlet to share my joy of orchids.  However I have been super busy, and have some very important commitments (outside of orchids) that I need to give more time to.  As a results I may not be posting for a while here.  Hopefully it is not too long, and maybe in the future it won’t necessarily be once a week, we’ll see.

Recently I did have the opportunity to see those stunning duck orchids (Caleana major), and so I thought I’d share with you a few pictures.  Even though it was early November, some of the flowers were starting to look old.

Till next time,

Helen Lawrence

Flowering soon

Unfortunately at the moment I’ve been very busy, consequently I have been unable to prepare much for you.  However, I’m posting a couple of pictures of some summer orchids, that will begin flowering in time for Christmas.

The hyacinth orchid – this is probably one of the most photographed orchid in the Adelaide Hills, as the whole plant can be about two to three feet high.

Dipodium pardina

Dipodium roseum

Moose Orchid – This is probably a flower you won’t see in South Australia, as it is very rare, and grows in swamps.  However it is more common in the eastern states but does not need to grow in a swamp.  Its leaves look like the leaves from gum trees.

Cryptostylis subulata

Duck Orchid – this is actually out at the moment, and would have to be a favourite flower for everyone.

Caleana major

Have a good weekend all!