Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Twenty-seventh Orchid of the Season

The Giant Rattlesnake Orchis, Goodyera oblongifolia, is gigantic only in relation to its smaller relative, the Lesser Rattlesnake Orchis, Goodyera repens.  The plant itself is a small rosette of leaves at ground level and the flower spikes less than 45 cm.  The tiny white flowers are rather inconspicuous and probably would not even be recognized as orchids by most people.  The leaves are often beautifully patterned, but sometimes have only a white stripe down the mid-vein.  The species is one of our most common orchids and can be found out of flower year around since the leaves are usually evergreen.  These photos were taken in Olympic National Park but the orchid can be found almost anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

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