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 Oligochaetochilus. The ‘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.
So here I am doing it again, attempting to draw, and probably not doing justice to the flower. The top of the flower is yellow, and then it reaches red towards the end of the flower. I’ve tried to capture some of the veins in the flower as well as the overall feel of the flower. Let me know what you think of it.
This is one of the more unusual orchids, and is known as the moose orchid. In South Australia it is found only in swamps whereas in the eastern states it can be found outside of swamps in moist areas. It is one of the few South Australian orchids with evergreen leaves.
Drawing is something that I have enjoyed, but usually my patience does not permit me to complete a large picture. However, since life has had a little quite spell, and usually Christmas is not particularly busy yet, I decided to try some drawing. I am self taught, and prefer pencil artwork, as it is a chance to bring out all the tones, but I don’t feel that I’m always successful.
My picture is of a Prasophyllum elatum, the tall leak orchid. I’m not totally happy with how the frilly part of the labellum turned out, but overall I like the feel of the picture. This species is unusual because the labellum is bend upwards, rather than facing down as in most orchids. What I have illustrated would be about a couple of centimetres high, or approximately an inch. The flower stem will have a cluster of these flowers, and after fire, the stem is black, instead of green.