Hammer Orchid

Drakaea also commonly known as hammer orchids, is a genus of 10 species in the plant family Orchidaceae.

All of the ten species occur in the south-west of Western Australia.

The Hammer orchids have a single thumbnail-sized, flat heart-shaped, with fleshy, ground-hugging leaf and a long, thin, wiry stem.

The stem bears a leaf-like stalk below and a single flower at its top.

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The bulb is high, modified the labellum resembles a female thynnid wasp in shape and colour.

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It produces a scent that mimics a fragrance that is produced by the female.

There is a single male stamen bearing two pollinia close to the female stigma. After fertilisation, the ovary develops into a non-fleshy capsule containing up to 500 seeds.

Various information suggests that many orchid species have structures, or produce scents that mimic female insects and are attractive to males.

However, the Hammer orchids are unique in that they are, pollinated by a species of male thynnid wasp.

TheThynnid wasps are unusual because the females are flightless.

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