"Green" Orchids

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"Green" Orchids

Postby SandyLee » Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:23 pm

GOSH! "Green" Orchids! Thanks Dale and Ruth!

"Green" Orchids

On this posting we would like to present three additional native orchids. They are the Northern Green Bog Orchid, Long-bracted Green Orchid, and the Tubercled or Pale Green Orchid. While the Northern Green Bog Orchid is relatively easy to locate, the other two prove to be quite difficult as we will explain later.

The Northern Green Bog Orchid is a relatively common plant given the right habitat. Plantanthera huronensis can range from a few inches to a few feet in height, dependent upon location. We have located them up to 4 feet along stream beds in the Upper Peninsula. This photo from Mackinac Co.
shows one of the more robust plants we have encountered.
Flowers are a pale greenish-white with a fragrance. Lip is not yellow as is found in a similar species. Spur is about the same length as the lower lip, but hangs pendant to slightly curved forward. Favors open wet meadows and streamside.
huron7725-1.JPG (196.32 KiB) Viewed 1917 times

Our next two orchids are much more difficult to locate, even when knowing they are in the area. This is because they tend to grow in tall grasses or like vegetation. The first is the Long-bracted Green Orchid. The distinctive long bracts the length of the stem are the big identifier. The plant can measure 4" - 24" in height, and can be found in sandy soils in upland beach-maple cover. Widespread throughout the State, this photo is from Alger Co. and shown to display the long bracts with the unique flower, that may lead to one of it's other names, the Frog Orchid.
frogIMG_2932-1.JPG (244.23 KiB) Viewed 1917 times

Likewise, the Tubercled or Pale Green Orchid is found in tall grasses in open wet meadows. Growing from 4" - 24"
tall, this orchid is primarily a southern species in our State.
Usually found in colonies, this photo is from Jackson Co..
A very nice pale green color with a nice flower. Despite not being an uncommon flower, we have been able to locate it in only one area.
palegreen-1a.JPG (226.6 KiB) Viewed 1917 times

Dale and Ruth
- Sandy
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Re: "Green" Orchids

Postby Dale » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:07 pm

Ruth and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sandy for all her help in
getting these orchids and trilliums posted. For some reason I just could not
find the right formula to do it from my computer!
This posting brings our total native orchids on this website to 55. We have photos
of the three remaining species, but we would like to improve on those photos before
posting them here.
Michigan is so fortunate to have this many native orchids, and one of our main
objectives here was to display for you their beauty and to provide some facts on
them so when you come across them you will notice that they are indeed special
and should not be disturbed in any way. Rarely will an orchid transplant from the
natural area to ones garden at home. It takes an understanding of the soil, sunlight
and need for other plants or fungi in the area. I recently read that even if you take
seed from a lady-slipper for instance, it takes up to ten years to produce a flower IF
you can get them to take. We need to enjoy them where they are and hope that they
can continue to support themselves and thrive. Several species are threatened and
please remember that all are protected wildflowers.
We hope that you enjoy these photographic representations and we are thankful
for the opportunity to present them to you all. They represent 14 years of fun
in Michigan's prairies, bogs and woods, and countless hours of research. Along the
way we have developed friendships with other nature photographers and thank them also for
their assistance to us.

Dale and Ruth
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Re: "Green" Orchids

Postby MikeW » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:50 am

Wow!! 14 years...now that's dedication! Thanks for all the facts and the education. This was really a great series of posts, not to mention the fantastic photos. Sorry to see it coming to an end. Thanks to you both for sharing your journey.
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