Tag Archives: duck orchids

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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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