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!

And

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

Events Calendar

Mar
23

Sat 9:30am - 2:30pm

Mar
26

Tue 9:30am - 11:00am

Mar
31

Sun 9:30am - 11:00am

Apr
7

Sun 10:00am - 12:00pm

Apr
27

Sat 6:00pm - 10:30pm

Weed of the month

Freesia

Freesia

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.

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