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.
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!)
Of course I then had to go hunting for puttyroot, too, and found a few of those leaves, and seedpods still on one spike.
cranefly in flower:
puttyroot in flower:
This really has been a wonderful year.
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