Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Visitor From The Woods
We have three native orchids that grow in our woods (we had four, but the green twayblade seems to have disappeared); the showy orchis is done blooming, nodding pogonia hasn't started, but the puttyroot orchid (Aplectrum hyemale) is now putting up its bare flower stalks, covered with lovely little soft purple and green flowers. The leaves of the puttyroot die back just as the flower stalks arise, so the flower stalks are naked. The leaves re-appear in the fall and persist through the winter (hibernal leaves). The puttyroots have popped up in several flower beds and made themselves right at home; they are welcome visitors from the woods.
Puttyroot orchids are REALLY interesting; their leaves are very stiff and pleated. The woods are full of them, but deer bite off all the flower stalks, so I worry they'll eventually disappear. When full grown, the flower stalk is anywhere between a foot and three foot tall.
I've been watching our cranefly orchid, waiting for the flower stalk, but nothing so far. I only just discovered it last winter when I noticed the dead flower stalk and then the purplish leaves. Not the world's most attractive orchid, but still an orchid.Post a Comment