Thursday, August 4, 2011

Platanthera aquilonis in the Canadian Rockies

Another green-flowered Platanthera, not as common as Platanthera huronensis and slightly more attractive than that species is Platanthera aquilonis, the Northern Green Bog Orchis.  Flowers and plants are very similar, however, and I always have difficulty telling the green-flowered Platantheras apart, though this has also to do with the fact that there are intermediate forms and natural hybrids between the species.  In any case, these are the plants and flowers that I've identified as Platanthera aquilonis.

I've identified these as that species on the basis of the yellowish lip which is more or less lanceolate in shape (lance-head like), and on the basis of the shape of the spur which is pretty much cylindrical.  These characteristics can be seen in the photos which were taken along the Maligne Lake Road in Jasper National Park, Alberta.  These were found growing with Coeloglossum viride and with Wood Lilies (Lilium philadelphicum) in rather wet areas.

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