Orchid Update

Earlier this year I was over the moon to find two native orchids in the area, puttyroot (Aplectrum hyemale; fotd 5/20) and cranefly (Tipularia discolor, fotd 7/31).  These two plants have a similar, unusual life cycle: the new leaf (one per plant) emerges from the ground in autumn, persists through the winter, then dies back in spring (puttyroot) or early summer (cranefly); some time after that a single flower spike emerges, develops multiple buds, and blooms.

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Last week while hiking I saw the new leaves of cranefly orchids; note the characteristic purple underside.  (Be assured no plants were harmed, nor soils disturbed, in the taking of these photos!)

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Of course I then had to go hunting for puttyroot, too, and found a few of those leaves, and seedpods still on one spike.

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cranefly in flower:

puttyroot in flower:

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This really has been a wonderful year.

One thought on “Orchid Update

  1. Pingback: What’s Green Now? Orchids | Elizabeth's Wildflower Blog

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