Caleana major

Fereydoon, Once a long time ago I worked at an orchid nursery that had a propagation lab. I am sure there have been many changes since my time, but perhaps I can shed some light on the challenges you will face growing orchid seed.

The basic material used as a growing medium is agar….the same milky looking stuff with the consistency of Jello that medical labs use to grow germ and bacteria cultures on. The agar is fortified with some king of material that the orchid seed can begin to use as food from the first moment they germinate. The exact formula of nutrients is usually a very closely guarded secret with each lab. I can say that some of these for the more common orchids are banana or tomato based.

As you can see, the growth medium used is the perfect medium to grow mold or germ cultures on, and they would quickly overpower the very slow growing orchid seeds, and kill all of them.

The orchid seed are usually harvested just days before the pod opens, so the seed do not have to endure a harsh sterilization themselves. If the seed must be sterilized, it usually kills a large percentage of them.

The agar/nutrient solution is placed in a bottle or flask. The bottle is sealed with a rubber stopper with a hole that is filled with sterile cotton (this prevents natural air pressure variations from popping the stoppers, and filters out any spores in the air passing through.

The flasks are sterilized and remain sealed until planting time. The outside of the seed pod is sterilized, and opened in a sterile area (usually the operator sits in front of a hood that blows highly filtered air directly across the working area and into their face as they work.) The operator opens the flask, and uses a long wire with a small loop in the end to spread a thin layer of seed over the agar, and recloses the flask. The flask is put on a shelf under grow lights until the seeds germinate and outgrow that bottle.

When the little plants become two crowded in the bottle, they are transferred to other bottles (less plants per bottle = more bottles). This transfer process is of course conducted under the highly sterile process as the original planting. Depending on the plants, you can sometimes get by with one thinning before you place an exact number of plants in each bottle for sale, or as a count so you will know how many plants you are keeping to sell at the nursery. Sometimes it takes two transfers before the final flasking of a specific number of plants.

When the plants in the final containers are large enough, they are removed from the bottles and planted into flats

This covers approximately the first two years of the seven or so years it takes to get most orchids from seed to first bloom.

Now you also see why Arthurm’s friend and the vast majority of non professional growers use the services of a professional lab to grow their seed.

Try this link.


100 Pcs/Pack Caleana Major Flying Duck Orchid Seeds Garden Potted Decor Flowers Plants Seeds

Description :
100 Pcs/Pack Caleana Major Flying Duck Orchid Seeds Garden Potted Decor Flowers Plants Seeds

Specifications :
Quantity : 100 pcs
Germination time : 15-25 days
For germination temperature : 18-25 Celsius.
Package : 1 OPP Simple Packaging
Applications : Balcony, garden, living room, study, windows, office, etc.

How To Grow The Seeds?
Firstly, loose the soil and then put your seeds in the soil in 0.3-0.5cm of soil, note that do not put them so deep and close in the soil.
Secondly, check whether the temperature is fit for sowing these seeds in order to make sure they will grow. The best temperature is 18-25degrees.
Thirdly, water these seeds, but not too often, once or twice a day.
Finally, keep the soil moist and make them under the sun.
They usually need 15 to 25 days to grow, so please wait patiently!

Tips :
Soaked in warm water for 8 hours before planting will be better if the seeds is over 0.5mm.
Because the seeds are in dormant state and need to absorb enough water to germination.

Package Includes :
1 x 100 Pcs Caleana Major Seeds

Flying Duck Orchid Care – Can You Grow Flying Duck Orchid Plants

Native to the Australian wilderness, flying duck orchid plants (Caleana major) are amazing orchids that produce – you guessed it – distinctive duck-like blooms. The red, purple and green blooms, which appear in late spring and early summer, are tiny, measuring only ½ to ¾ inches in length. Here are a few more interesting facts about flying duck orchids.

Facts about Flying Duck Orchids

The complex flowers have evolved to attract male sawflies, which are tricked into thinking the plants are female sawflies. The insects are actually trapped by the “beak” of the plant, forcing the unsuspecting sawfly to pass through the pollen as it exits from the trap. Although the sawfly may not intend to be a pollinator for flying duck orchid plants, it plays a critical role in the survival of this orchid.

Flying duck orchid plants are so unique that the plants were featured on Australian postage stamps, along with other beautiful orchids endemic to that country. Unfortunately, the plant is on also Australia’s vulnerable plant list, due primarily to habitat destruction and a decrease in numbers of critical pollinators.

Can You Grow Flying Duck Orchid?

Although any orchid lover would love to learn how to grow flying duck orchids, the plants aren’t available on the market, and the only way to see flying duck orchid plants is to travel to Australia. Why? Because the roots of flying duck orchid plants have a symbiotic relationship with a type of fungus found only in the plant’s natural habitat – primarily in eucalyptuswoodlands of southern and eastern Australia.

Many plant lovers are curious about flying duck orchid care, but as of yet, propagating and growing flying duck orchids out of certain parts of Australia isn’t possible. Although countless people have tried, flying duck orchid plants have never survived long without the presence of the fungus. It is believed that the fungus actually keeps the plant healthy and fights off infections.

Source: Wikimedia Commons| Peter Woodard

Flying Duck Orchid Fast Facts

Scientific Name: Caleana Major
Common name: Flying duck orchid, duck orchids, large duck orchids
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Genus: Caleana
Growing Type: Terrestrial
Flower Color: Purplish-red with a hint of brown
Blooming season: Early fall to winter months, September until January

We know all about the moth orchids and the orchids that look like laughing monkeys. Today we’ll show you an even bizarrely beautiful kind of orchid called the Caleana Major, otherwise known as the flying duck orchids.

This one-of-a-kind orchid genus is native to the wilderness of Australia. They are usually spotted in open forests and woodlands of Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales. This single-species orchid genus was first described by Robert Brown in 1810. He named it in honor of English botanist and explorer, George Caley.

Initially, Caleana minor and Caleana nigrita were classified as a part of this genus but latest updates have reclassified them now as members of Paracaleana orchid genus.

Plant Description

Caleana major is a terrestrial orchid that can grow up to 20 inches tall. It boasts of a unique flower that bears an uncanny resemblance to a flying duck in purple with red and brown tints; thus its popular nickname. Its typical blooming season during fall to winter months or September until January.

According to sources, the unique form of the orchid blooms is caused by evolution. The orchid plant is deceiving its pollinators, the male sawflies, into coming near the orchid, it is a female sawfly. The insect gets caught in the “beak” of the flying duck orchid and unintentionally releases pollen as it breaks free from it.

Can You Grow Flying Duck Orchids at Home?

Having Caleana orchids blooming in your home garden as part of your orchid collection may seem tempting. However, these orchid plants are not usually for sale in the market.

Sadly, the flying duck orchid is included in Australia’s vulnerable plant list. In the brink of being an endangered orchid, the interesting plant is no longer as abundant as it used to be because of the destruction of their habitat or the natural environment, which leads to the loss of their pollinators.

In addition, Gardening Know How reports that it’s not advisable to pluck out flying duck orchids to from their natural habitat because their roots have a strong symbiotic relationship to the fungus found only in the eucalyptus woodlands of the Land Down Under. Aside from the fact that it will just die eventually, doing so will also have a negative impact on the wild orchids out there.

Flying Duck Orchid Seed. Dont be a sucker and fall for this con!

As we have tried to educate people for years now , orchid seed cant be gathered, sold or grown by the average home gardener.

All orchid seed requires a vast laboratory to germinate the near impossible to grow seed.

Fraudulent and dishonest sellers have been selling orchid seed online, particularly on ebay.

At $5 per serve times hundreds of sales they are making a bit!

I originally purchased the seed and on inspection demanded a refund.

This is the only way to stop this con!

In most cases its cabbage seed. Thats real orchid seed on the right. How could you ever measure out ten seeds.

The only way to stop this con is to purchase the seed ,then demand a refund and leave negetive feedback on ebay. Thats ANY orchid seed.

I have been blocked by the sellers so can no longer deal with them myself.

Ebay refuses to deal with the issue and say their are not enough complaints.

WHY! Because the time it takes for the seed to germinate is too short for them to take action.

Australian sellers Buy the seed in “Good Faith” from China But they are still importing it illegally without permits. How do you import Australian Duck Orchid seed from China when its viability (Seed shelf life) is only a few weeks

How do you divide out ten seeds when they are near microscopic in real life


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