Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Twenty-third Orchid of the Season
This is the smallest of the Piperias that grow in our area, the plants usually 20-45 cm, with many flowers closely packed on the stems. Piperia transversa, the Flat-spurred Piperia, has been reclassified as a Platanthera transversa, but I have not yet gotten used to the new names. From a distance the flowers appear to be cream-colored, but close-up they are white and green and are readily distinguished from the other Piperias by the spur which is held at a ninety degree angle to the stem. The bloom season for this species is slightly later than that of Piperia elegans and slightly earlier than that of Piperia elongata, but it is possible to find all three species in bloom at the same time, as I did when these photos were taken in the area of Deception Pass on Whidbey Island. There were not, however, as many of them this year as previous years, probably on account of the hot dry summer.