Australia’s Most Popular Orchid?

Australia has some of the most varied, if not the most varied, terrestrial orchids.  This variety is reflected in the words used in their commons names – spiders, hoods, moose, cowslip, mosquito, comb, fingers, fairies, bearded, ant, bird, frog, helmet, midge, shell, donkey, bulldogs, parsons, bunnies, daddy long-legs, hare, rabbit, onion, leek, gremlin, duck.  This list is from words used for describing just the South Australian orchids.  The other states particularly Western Australia have even more common descriptive names!

With such a variety is there a favourite one?  From the searches and questions that come to this site, it would have to be the Flying Duck Orchid.  This orchid never fails to amaze people with its resemblance to a duck in full flight.

It was no surprise than to discover that the winner for the Australian Orchid Foundation 2014 Essay titled Our Favourite Orchid featured the Flying Duck Orchid.

The essay began “It all started with the arrival of an email ……. click here to continue reading

And just a reminder, it is only ever found in the wild.  No-one has ever been able to grow one and it cannot be bought or sold!  But so that we can all enjoy them, here is a short video clip …..

caleana major

Ducks in full flight

11sm C major actual size

To get an idea of the size of this superb orchid, bring this image up to A4 paper size

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Orchid You Can’t Buy or Grow

Question

I like the Flying Duck orchid.  It is truly a beautiful plant.  Where can I buy one?

Answer

The Flying Duck orchid or Caleana major is an unusual and unique flower.  Unfortunately, despite many attempts, no one has been able to cultivate it, so there is no supplier able to sell it.

It is a protected plant and it is illegal to remove it from the bush.  See the November Photo Competition 2013 for more details