Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Platanthera obtusata along the Berg Lake Trail
Hiking the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park in British Columbia on Monday, July 11, this was one of the native orchid species I was especially looking for. I had wanted to get better photos than those I had in my files and was delighted to find them everywhere.
There were a few plants along the lower end of the trail, but they were everywhere in the woods on the east side of Kinney Lake, often single plants but sometimes in large clumps. They are immediately recognizable by the single, ground-hugging, glossy leaf and the distinctive white and green flowers.
These are the larger flowered sub-species obtusata. There is a few-flowered, smaller sub-species that grows only in Alaska. This subspecies grows in woodland areas, usually in mossy, well-drained locations along the trails and even on top of rocks and old logs.
I've described them in more detail in a previous post: http://nativeorchidsofthepacificnorthwest.blogspot.com/2011/03/blunt-leafed-rein-orchis-platanthera.html.