The scientific name for this unique Australian flower is Caleana, but is more commonly known as The Duck Orchid. The two petals in the back make this flower appear like a bird in flight which makes the labellum, the lips appear larger than they really are.
This orchid is only found in the wildlife of Australia where it originates so you might be disappointed if you try to grow your own Duck Orchid. It’s height is about 50 centimeters and almost becomes invisible in the wild due to it’s deep purple and red coloring.
During my visit in Baltimore, MD last weekend my sisters and I took a drive to Jarrettsville, MD to take photos in a field of Sunflowers. The Sunflowers were starting to die off but the best time to go is during their full bloom season between the dates of September.8-22.
The best location to view the sunflowers are between routes 23 and 165.
The Rose Family, owners of Clear Meadow Farm planted over 600 acres of sunflowers which took about 3 months to bloom and now take over numerous fields for the world to view.
Sunflowers are Native to North America but planted all around the world and were cultivated as a valuable food source. The petals of the Sunflower resemble the rays of the sun, hence the name. This flower is bright, warm and cheerful and sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. The flower was a common crop used by American Indian tribes and it’s petals were used for paintings. The seeds of the flower were used for foods such as breads, cakes or eaten as a snack. This North American plant was first taken to Europe by Spanish farmers then by the 19th century Russian farmers began growing them. In the late 19th century the Sunflower made it’s way back to the U.S. after routing through Europe for it’s high demand in sunflower oil.
According to Ms. Rose, “This is a farmer’s crop, not something people can cut down, I wouldn’t go into your yard and pick flowers.”
So, if you are ever in Maryland take a drive up to Baldwin, MD and head up to the sunflower fields to lift your spirits, take photos and smile turning your heads up to the sun !