Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fourteenth Orchid of the Season

Platanthera stricta, the Slender Bog Orchis, is probably the most common orchid species in the Pacific Northwest and also the least attractive.  The plants can be over 100 cm tall with many flowers, but the flowers are small and green.  We find it in the ditches along the roads, sometimes in the thousands and very often do not stop to photograph them.  These were the first of the season and were photographed along the Spaudling Trail near Juneau.  There, too, they were in a wet meadow and seemed to be everywhere.  The species is readily identifiable by its long narrow lip and inflated spur, which sometimes looks like a tube with a ball on the end.