Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Green Bog Orchis (Platanthera huronensis)

Always found in wet areas, as its name indicates, this is one of the less attractive species in the genus.  Its greenish flowers are a little larger than 1 cm and as many as 50-75 flowers may be closely crowded together on the stems.

This is one of the few species we have found growing at high altitudes, and because it is usually then growing in the open, the plants are quite short, about 10-15 cm, while otherwise they grow as tall as 100 cm.  It is also very abundant and can be found in large numbers.

This species, too, is found all across Alaska, Canada and the northern United States.  There are supposed to be some natural hybrids, but the green-flowered species themselves are so difficult to distinguish that we have made no effort to distinguish the hybrids.

This, I believe, is a very small form of Platanthera huronensis, only a few inches tall, growing in an open area at about 5000 ft in the Canadian Rockies near Berg Lake.

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