Monday, September 28, 2015
Thirty-second and Last Orchid of the Season and Others
We had not expected to find any more native orchids, at least not any new species, when we were out hiking August 7th. We did, however, find the thirty-second orchid of the season and a new species for us in Washington. Though we had seen this species a number of times previously, when I checked my records I discovered that this was the first time we saw it in the state. The orchid is the best of our Platantheras, Platanthera orbiculata, the Pad-leaved Orchis, known both for its large, shiny plate-like leaves which are held close to the ground and for its intricate greenish-white flowers. The plant can be up to 75 cm tall, but these were smaller, nearer 30 cm. They were almost finished flowering, but were unmistakable and were growing where one would expect to see them, in an open woodland. Because the flowers were not that fresh I've included a couple of other pictures from another location.
Along with the Platanthera we found quite a number of Goodyera oblongifolia, the Giant Rattlesnake Orchis, still blooming. These in fact were everywhere, and though they are so common that we usually do not even bother to photograph them, it was nice to see them when hardly anything else, orchids or wildflowers, was blooming.