Seeds of South Australia
Paracaleana minor (Orchidaceae)
Small Duck-orchid
List of species for Paracaleana
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Seed collecting:
January to February
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
IBRA regions
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [stronghold; undercollected]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [in Cox Scrub; very few pops]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1)
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Paracaleana]
Name derivation:
Paracaleana from the Greek 'para' meaning near or beside and 'Caleana' another genus of the Orchidaceae, referring to its similarity to the genus Caleana. Minor from Latin meaning smaller, alluding to its smaller flowers and a less conspicuous labellum than that of Caleana major.
Distribution:
Found in the southern Mount Lofty and the South-east in South Australia, growing in a variety of habitats, in forested ridges and slopes, in coastal scrub and more open areas on sand and gravelly soil. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and New Zealand. 
Status:
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Annual terrestrial orchid growing to 18 cm tall with up to 7 flowers. The single linear leaf is glabrous, red-brown, to 9 cm long. Flower is small, glossy, green with reddish and brown markings and in profile resembles a duck in flight. Sepals and lateral petals to 8 mm long, linear. Labellum lamina to 6 mm long, covered with dark red wart-like calli. Flowering between November and January.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ellipsoid capsule.
Seed type:
Very small orange-brown ellipsoid seed with a long cylindrical translucent brown mesh-like covering.
Seed collecting:
Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.
Seed viability:
For the NVC South East Orchid Project three populations consisting of more than 90 individuals in total were recorded from Bangham and Pine Soak areas. Approximately 750,000 seeds (0.144 g) were banked from this population. Seed viability from three collections made ranged from 82% to 92%.
Seed germination:
More research is needed to understand the seed germination requirements of Paracaleana species.  Seed germination in orchid species is difficult in the absence of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi.