Regardless of the very warm forecast, 9 enthusiastic ANGAIR members took on the challenge of locating the two orchid species which can often be seen in this remnant gravel pit site during the months of October, November and December.
Both the Flying Duck Orchid Caleana major and the Small Duck Orchid Paracaleana minor were successfully located, providing an opportunity to discuss the intricate pollination technique involving the pollinating male sawfly, whose presence on the hinged labellum or ‘ducks head’ triggers the labellum to close, pinning the sawfly against the column containing the orchid reproductive parts. Cross pollination being the aim of this deceptive practice.
Flying Duck Orchid
Small Duck Orchid (photo by Margaret MacDonald)
As well as these orchids we observed some other very interesting plant species which are included in this report.
A keen level of interest being shown
Magnifying lenses and cameras are essential examination tools
A member of the Sedge family, Curly Wig Caustis flexuosa can be found in sandy and gravelly sites around Anglesea, its twisted growth making it an easy plant to remember
Victorian Smoke-bush Comesperma mitchellii was an eye catching find
We were so fortunate to locate generous colonies of flowering Tiny Sundew Drosera pygmaea
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.