Sunday, August 14, 2011

Orchids Near You

In my August 11 post, Wildflowers Far Away in Newfoundland, I included pictures of three orchids and noted there are orchids in Indiana too. Michael Homoya describes over 40 species in his book Orchids of Indiana.  But they are hard to find -- most are not showy and some are rare. Often they grow in remote or wet areas that are difficult to access.  In ten years of looking for orchids within  reasonable drive distance, I have only found eight species; I have taken photos of six species.   Below are my photos of Indiana Orchids, in the sequence they bloom.  (Please double click on the photos to enlarge them.)
Showy Orchis, Galearis spectabilis, Orchid Family, early May
Twayblade, Liparis lillifolia, Orchid Family - late May
Puttyroot flowers, Aplectrum hyemale, Orchid Family, late May
Puttyroot leaves, September to May
Puttyroot leaves begin emerging in September and stay green until May, when they die back.  In late May the leafless flower stalk emerges.  I have found Puttyroot in three woods in Elkhart and LaGrange Counties.
Shining Ladies' Tresses, Spiranthes lucida, early June
A botanist first told me of a fen in Whitley County where this orchid grew.  I went immediately and found it.  A week later I was walking in a wetland in Elkhart County and happened upon it.  Neither Homoya's Orchids of Indiana, nor the USDA Plants Data Base report Shining Ladies' Tresses in Elkhart County.
Rattlesnake Orchid, Goodyear pubescens, July & August
 Rattlesnake orchid gets its common name from the prominent white leaf veins that make the leaves look a bit like rattlesnake skin.  The attractive leaves last through the winter.
Nodding Ladies' Tresses, Spiranthes cernua, Sept.
Nodding Ladies Tresses tend to grow in bogs and other wetlands.  I have seen them in a flotting sphagnum bog in Elkhart, County and in a wet prairie in Noble County.

I have seen both Pink Lady's Slipper, Cypripedium acaule and yellow Lady's Slippers, Cypripedium calceolus in Michiana, but I haven't found them scince I started photographing wildflowers.  I will keep on the lookout for them. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice finds, especially Spiranthes lucida! I've only seen this orchid one or two times.

    I am now able to comment again after readjusting my cookie settings.