Friday, August 29, 2014

Platanthera obtusata ssp. obtusata


Platanthera obtusata, ssp. obtusata, the Blunt-leafed Rein Orchis is found only in the far northeast corner of Washington but is very common further north and east.  It grows "in the mountains east of the coastal ranges south of Alaska."  The single "blunt" leaf is distinctive and with its flower spike the plant is only 35 cm tall.  The whitish-green flowers are 2 cm and resemble a long-tailed bird in flight.  It is not a striking species but has a quiet beauty all its own.

July 8
(Canadian Rockies)


July 10
(Canadian Rockies)













Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Amerorchis rotundifolia


The genus Amerorchis has only this one species.  It is closely related to the European genus Orchis and was once classified as part of that genus.  Under either name, it is the only such species in the North America.  It does not, however, grow in Washington, though it grows in Idaho and Montana and other northern states further east.  It is not a large plant, growing to 20 cm tall with 1.5 cm flowers.  Where it is found, however, it often grows in profusion, carpeting the ground.  We have been in places where it grows so thickly it is difficult to walk without stepping on plants.  It has a number of different color forms one of which we found this summer and which will be the subject of a future post.

July 8
(Canadian Rockies)












 July 10
(Canadian Rockies)











Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cypripedium passerinum


Cypripedium passerinum, known as Franklin's Lady's Slipper or the Sparrow's-egg Lady's Slipper, has flowers that are usually much smaller than the other Lady's Slippers in our area, around 5 cm and they look much smaller in proportion to the plant, which is usually around 35-40 cm.  The flowers are usually single with occasionally two to a stem.  They do not open widely either, the dorsal sepal nearly covering the lip on most flowers.  They are nevertheless very attractive little flowers, but they do not grow in Washington, in fact, they are recorded from only one mainland state, Montana.  We see them in the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia and Alberta.

July 3
(Canadian Rockies)






July 9
(Canadian Rockies)