Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Piperia unalascensis in the Canadian Rockies

Traveling along the Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia and Alberta we found this common species of native orchid in various locations, often growing along with other orchids.  In one location it was growing with Platanthera dilatata, the Bog Candle, and in another with Platanthera huronensis, the Green Bog Orchis, and Coeloglossum viride, the Long-bracted Green Orchis.

Though it often grows in large clumps the plants we saw were usually just single spikes.  They are easily identified, however, by their short spurt, many flowers, yellow-green color and small lip.  They were almost always in open sunny locations and areas that were quite wet.  The plant is found all across North America and so it was no surprise to find it here also.


  1. I saw these by the hundreds up on the Bruce peninsula last month. They were still in bud and a few weeks from bloom but still cool to see this orchid; especially considering how disjunct it is in southern Ontario and the U.P. of Michigan.

  2. I had neard that there was a disjunct population there and envy you the opportunity to see it!