Monday, July 25, 2011
Amerorchis rotundifolia near Kinney Lake
Small but showy is this little gem of a native orchid. It is only 15 cm tall, and even where it grows in masses of hundreds of plants would go unnoticed because of its size, but a closer examination shows its lovely spotted, angel- or ballerina-like flowers.
Amerorchis rotundifolia is more closely related to European orchids than to our other North American species, but ranges across Canada and the northern United States and is often abundant where found, though it is considered "rare and local" by some.
In the area around the Kinney Lake campground, a relatively flat area of scrubby open woodland and where both Cypripedium parviflorum and Cypripedium passerinum are abundant, this species is also abundant, growing by the thousands and perhaps even millions.
Where we have found it we have also always found Cypripediums, but in this location it is so abundant that it is impossible to step off the trail without crushing some of the plants. Many of the flowers were starting to go by, but there were still many in full bloom.