Caleana minor R.Br.

Small Duck-orchid

Prodr. 329 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering stem erect, 8–15 cm tall, slender, without sheathing bract. Leaf linear, 4–13 cm long, 1–3 mm wide, reddish-brown. Flowers yellowish-green to reddish-brown, 1–4 (with rudimentary bud at apex), on slender pedicels subtended by an acute bract; ovary straight or humped; dorsal sepal closely following curve of column, channelled, narrowly obovate to spathulate, 7–10 mm long; lateral sepals down-curved in direction of upper margins of column wings, distal end bent or curved away from column, channelled, linear-lanceolate, c. 7 mm long; petals erect or incurved against the column wings, thread-like, obtuse, c. 7 mm long. Labellum claw strap-like, curved, to 5 mm long, attached towards middle of inflated part of lamina; lamina ovate, c. 7 mm long, centre inflated and hollow, cavity open below, apex prolonged into beak-like extension with 2-lobed glandular tip; base with a triangular point and short spur on each side of claw; upper surface densely warty except near extreme base, under-surface smooth. Column broadly winged from anther to distal end of c. 3 mm long foot, cupped. Flowers mostly Oct.–Jan.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HSF, NIS, OtP, Strz, VVP, Wim. All States except WA. New Zealand. Found in heathlands, woodlands and open forests on well-drained sandy and gravelly soil. Plants are often clustered in bare areas around the base of trees.

A rare apomictic form with abortive anthers and fixed or only partially mobile labellum (previously regarded as a separate species, C. sullivanii) is found in the Grampians, the nearby Black Range and the Brisbane Ranges.

Created by: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-09-30
Updated by: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-09-30
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Caleana
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Caleana minor in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Caleana minor in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory