© Ken-ichi Ueda/Flickr/Creative Commons
No prizes for guessing how the flying duck orchid (Caleana major) got its name.
So uncanny is the similarity to its avian namesake that there is fun to be had trying to identify the precise species – and even the gender – of duck involved (any advance on male mallard?).
The only slight disappointment is that this remarkable Australian plant is not pollinated by waterfowl. The resemblance is apparently purely coincidental – it instead attracts male sawflies.
The species was first described from a specimen collected in 1803 from Bennelong Point, today the site of the Sydney Opera House.
It can still be found in coastal habitats in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.