Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sixteenth Orchid of the Season

This is another species reputed to grow in Washington but which we have not seen in the state and which, if it grows there, must be very rare in the state.  It is, however, very common further north.  While in Alaska we found a few plants in Kenai Fjords National Park along the Harding Icefields trail, very small examples of the species which can grow to several feet (60 cm).  There is a dwarf variety of the species but these are not that variety.  These are the much more common variety, var. virescens.  I learned the species as Coeloglossum viride var. virescens and it can be found in the literature under that name but it has recently been reclassified as Dactylorhiza viride var. virescens.  The species is known as the Long-bracted Green Orchis or the Frog Orchid, the latter in reference to the lip which resembles the back legs of a jumping frog.

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