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Our scheduled walk for Red River Track area on December 10 was cancelled due to the very dry conditions.

We had hoped to visit the swamp site where the Large Tongue Orchid Cryptostylis subulata is often found but our reconnoitre for the ramble found a dry swamp and only two orchid specimens still in tight bud.

As a result we switched our activity to the Harrison Track area near Gum Flat as we knew Large Duck Orchids Caleana major and Small Duck Orchids Caleana minor were in flower there and we were not disappointed.

large duck

Large Duck Orchid Caleana major

little ducksSmall Duck Orchid Caleana minor

Recently known as Paracaleana minor. It was placed in the Caleana genus in 2014.

large duck with labellum setLarge Duck Orchid with labellum in shut position

The Large Duck Orchid is pollinated by male sawflies. The labellum is highly sensitive and snaps shut at the slightest touch, trapping the insect against the column. The pollen is picked up as the saw fly struggles to free itself.

The Small Duck Orchid is pollinated by wasps.

photo time

Our group of 12 members was fascinated with the orchids – some seeing them for the first time and were keen to capture photos.

There were many other interesting flora that captured our attention including:-

slender twist-rush

Slender Twist-rush Caustis flexuosa

A graceful plant with attractive curling foliage. It is also called Curly wig!


heath xanthosia

Heath Xanthosia Xanthosia hueglii

A small, soft, extremely hairy perennial herb.

It was a great nature ramble to finish our year’s activity and hopefully many more to come in 2019.

Margaret MacDonald
Photography by Wendy Crebbin