Monday, July 2, 2018

Two Color Forms of Galearis rotundifolia

While orchid hunting in Kootenay National Park in British Columbia we found two color forms of Amerorchis rotundifolia now Galearis rotundifolia.  The ordinary form has a spotted lip (see photo below) but these two forms are different.  Fma. lineata has a lip with heavy purple "lines" and fma. immaculata has a pure white lip.  I had seen fma. lineata before but had never seen fma. immaculata.

Galearis rotundifolia fma. immaculata

 Galearis rotundifolia fma. lineata

In addition to these forms we found a form, not named, but probably fma. lineata, with a lip that ws almost solid purple.  There are other color forms as well, some of which we've seen and some not.  There is a pink-flowered form, an all-white form and a form with green on lip and very faint pinkish-purple markings.  Some effort is required to examine the plants for these different forms but the effort is often rewarded since they often grow mixed in with the ordinary spotted form of the flowers.

Galearis rotundifolia is a small terrestrial orchid, generally around 15 cm with 2 cm flowers, with up to 15 flowers per inflorescence.  It easily goes unnoticed but up close is very beautiful with the flowers resembling little angels.  When found it is often found in abundance with hundreds of plants in an area.  It prefers slightly shady forest locations that have plenty of water and is widespread.

Galearis rotundifolia


  1. Such a pretty orchid Ron and a nice description, little Angels.

    1. Thanks, Thel. Appreciate the visit and comments.

    2. Indeed. They kind of remind me of Orchis quadripunctata in southern Europe.
      Very pretty!

    3. Martin,
      They are the closest relative of Orchis in North America.