The flying duck orchid is a rare and spectacular flower species found in the south and east Australian forests or rural woodlands.
It gets its name from its distinctive appearance. In full bloom, it looks like a duck in flight.
Unfortunately, you cannot buy the flying duck in plant form.
Flying Duck Orchid
The duck-like flower is a mix of reddish-green and purple colors.
The flowers are pretty small at only less than an inch wide, and the stems are half a meter tall at maturity.
Flying duck orchid flowers bloom in late spring and at the start of summer to merge well with their surroundings.
No one has been able to grow the plant or propagate it. Buying it is also impossible as the Australian government has set out to protect it.
It’s illegal to remove the flying duck from its natural habitat because it faces the risk of extinction.
Cross-fertilization insects for the plant are also becoming rare by the day, affecting the potential for future orchids.
The flying duck orchid thrives in the eucalyptus woodlands of Australia.
It grows on a fungus that makes the plant healthy from other crop diseases.
Few People Know – Removing it from its natural habitat would cause it to die. Sawflies are attracted to the flying duck orchid and help pollinate the plant for reproduction.
What Is The Scientific Name Of The Flying Duck Orchid?
The flying duck orchid is scientifically known as Caleana Major.
The first person to discover it, a botanist from the 1800s, gave it the name.
He came across the plant in Port Jackson Bay, Sydney, while researching different plant species’ pollination and fertilization processes.
He chose to give it the genus name, Caleana, in honor of a fellow earlier botanist whose last name was Caley.
The major, is derived from a Latin name meaning Great. The C. major is now a species name identifying the flying duck orchid.
Where Can I Buy Flying Duck Orchids?
Flower enthusiasts, especially orchid species, attempt to buy and think they can grow the flying duck plant, but that is not the case.
Online stores sell seeds, but no one has ever successfully grown one out of its native location.
The flying duck orchids do not survive in cold areas and require soil with medium water absorption and retention rates.
It is widespread and unique to Australia in that it appears on one of the four stamps featuring orchids in the 80s.
The flower has also won awards in the country’s media competitions.
Are Flying Duck Orchids Poisonous?
Flying duck orchids are poisonous.
The small trailing plant is toxic, and it’s not advisable to pick it.
However, the flowers, which look like ducks, are not harmful. It is also not edible.
Other Types of Orchids
Besides the flying duck species, there are other varieties of orchids that are unique.
The orchid family is the largest among flowers, and some types are spectacular due to their unusual appearances. They are rare and highly-priced.
Here is a list of seven strange-looking orchid types.
This is a rare plant from the orchid family that resembles a monkey’s face.
It’s native to parts of Ecuador and Peru with high altitudes.
Monkeyface orchids are annual plants with sweet orange-smelling flowers.
Swaddled Baby Orchid
These beautiful orchids look like cuddly babies in a blanket.
They appear waxy with a pale cream-yellow color.
They bloom in spring and grow on the ground under forest trees in parts of South America.
Keep In Mind – Swaddle baby orchids are sweet-smelling and require a good amount of water and little light.
Tiger Face Orchid
Tiger face orchids are large flowers with yellow and brown dots on the petals that resemble a tiger’s stripes.
They are perennial plants that flower every few years upon maturity.
They grow well in cold but well-lit and humid areas. When grown indoors, they need a lot of water to thrive.
White Egret Orchid
White Egret orchids are delicate white flowers native to Asia but can be grown worldwide.
They resemble a flying Egret bird.
They grow well under full or partial sunlight, with well-draining soil and water, especially in summer.
Native to parts of Australia, the ballerina orchids look like dancing girls with their cream-yellow petals with red and black markings.
They grow near water bodies in sandy soil and flower towards the end of the year.
The angel orchid flower is native to the south of India.
The plant produces a single flower every year in June that is white and looks like an angel wearing a hood.
What to Expect? It grows well in shaded areas and can get infected easily by aphids.
What Is The Best Time To Water Orchids?
Orchids are best watered in the morning so the water can dry out during the day.
Most orchid species grown in the home are attached to other plants or rocks.
They require water to grow and thrive well. However, overwatering them will rot the roots and kill the plant. You would rather have less water than excess.
Ensure the orchids are dry before watering. Avoid watering your orchid plants at night.
They retain water, and this excess water can cause the growth of fungi and plant bacterial diseases.
Check how your orchids look before watering them. They should have proper air circulation, preferably in humid areas.
People sometimes think flying duck orchids are fake plants. That is far from the truth.
They are real but so rare that you must travel to Australia to view them in their natural habitat.