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Manual of the New Zealand Flora.

10. Caleana, R. Br

10. Caleana, R. Br.

Glabrous terrestrial herbs. Boot of small rounded tubers on fleshy fibres. Leaf solitary, linear or lanceolate or oblong. Flowers •solitary or 2–4 in a terminal raceme; bracts acute. Sepals and petals subequal, all linear; the upper sepal erect, the lateral sepals and petals spreading or deflexed (but the position apparently re page 677versed through the ovary being recurved). Lip uppermost, jointed on to the base of the column or to a projection from it, mobile; claw linear, incurved; lamina ovate or oblong, peltate, undivided, entire, smooth or tuberculate. Column elongate, sometimes produced at the foot, broadly winged throughout its whole length, concave. Anther terminal, erect, 2-celled; pollinia 2-partite, granular.

A small genus of 4 species, all of them natives of Australia, 1 extending to New Zealand.

1.C. minor, R. Br. Prodr. 329.—Stem slender, wiry, almost filiform, 2–8 in. high, usually tinged with red. Leaf radical, about half as long as the stem, rather fleshy, channelled. Flowers 1–4, about ⅓ in. long including the ovary, greenish tinged with red, reversed; pedicels ¼–½ in.; bracts minute, acute. Sepals and petals narrow-linear, slightly dilated above the middle, nearly equal; upper sepal attached just above the top of the ovary, the lateral affixed to the basal projection of the column. Lip upper-most, very remarkable in shape; the lower portion claw-like and articulated on to the basal projection of the column; the upper part expanded into a broad lamina which is peltately attached to the claw; lamina convex above and covered with close-set reddish tubercles, which are largest towards the margins, under-surface smooth, concave. Column rather long, with a broad basal projection, broadly winged all round, concave, forming a horizontally placed cup or pouch.—Cheesem. in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxiv. (1892) 411; Kirk, l.c. 425; Benth. Fl. Austral. vi. 366.

North Island: Auckland—Kaitaia, R. H. Mattheivs! Rotorua, Rev. F. H. Spencer! Waiotapu, H. J. Matthews! December–January.

A most remarkable little plant. The column is horizontally placed, forming a broad pouch; the lamina of the lip, when at rest, is elevated by the slender elastic claw, and swings directly above it. When an insect alights on the lamina it overbalances, shutting up the insect within the concavity of the column. For a full account of the fertilisation of the genus, reference should be made to Mr. Fitzgerald's magnificent work on Australian Orchids (Vol. i. pt. 6).