Thursday, November 13, 2014

Platanthera stricta

This is, in my opinion, the least attractive of all our native orchids.  It is very common, has tiny green flowers and would pass unnoticed in most cases.  It is found along almost every mountain roadside in wet and boggy areas and apparently interbreeds rather freely with the other green Platantheras and even with the white-flowered PlatantherasPlatanthera stricta, the Slender Bog Orchis, grows to 100 cm or taller, but can be much shorter, can have 50 or more flowers on a spike, but the flowers are 2 cm or less in size and the same green color as the rest of the plant.  It can be identified by its narrow lip and the shape of the spur or nectary, which is scrotiform, that is, has a inflated or bulbous tip.  The spur is always shorter than the lip as well.

July 24
(South Cascades)

July 31
(North Cascades)

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