Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Twenty-fourth Orchid of the Season

All the Piperias have been reclassified as Platantheras and so this is probably better known as Platanthera elongata, the Long-spurred Piperia, well named for its long, downward curved spur which is four times the length of the flower.  In any case, it is a lovely species when seen close, but the flowers are very small.  Usually the leaves have withered and disappeared by the time the plant flowers and so all one finds is a spike up to 60 cm tall with 75-100 flowers, though it is often much shorter and with many fewer flowers.  These were just starting to open when I photographed them in the area of Deception Pass on Whidbey Island.  They were growing with plants of Piperia elegans which were a bit past their prime.

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