Monday, July 13, 2015

Seventeenth Orchid of the Season

A very common species in the Pacific Northwest, the Green Bog Orchis, Platanthera huronensis, is also rather uninspiring.  It is not always easy to identify, intergrading into several other species, but the following are diagnostic: a whitish-green color, a lip that has a dilated or narrowed base, a spur that is not distinctly inflated, is equal in length to the lip and does not curve strongly forward, with anther sacs toward the top of the flower and almost parallel.  We saw this species in several different locations in Alaska when we were there recently and finally stopped to photograph it along the Richardson Highway between Glennallen and Valdez.  The plants were 24-30 cm tall and were growing with Platanthera aquilonis, the Northern Green Bog Orchis, and Cypripedium passerinum, the Sparrow's-egg Lady's Slipper.

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