Saturday, July 12, 2008

Northern Green Bog-Orchid or Rein-Orchid

I don't know if you have ever noticed green or white flowered orchids growing in wet areas before. There is quite a variety of them in Oregon and Washington. They don't look like much from a distance. They blend in well with the other foliage. But really, they are worth another look.
There are fascinating little details to note which help to distinguish it from another species. I've had quite a time examining the details of my photos trying to come up with an identification today. I have four wildflower guides sharing my recliner and a laptop computer on my lap. Using all four books and the guide at the Washington Native Orchids website, I have concluded that my best hunch is that we found a Northern Green Bog Orchid, Platanthera hyperborea or Platanthera Aquilanis (Habenaria Hyperborea). It seems they have been changing the names of these orchids quite a bit. The older books have the genius as Habenaria and the new ones have Platanthera, but with two different species names also. Platanthera is Latin for" flat anthers." The common name 'rein-orchid' comes from the Lain habenas, 'a strap' or 'a rein,' and refers to the shape of the lip and spur. The species name hyperborea means 'beyond the north' and refers to this species occurrence in above the Arctic Circle.

This orchid has lance shaped leaves going up it's stem. It has 25 to 45 flowers that are greenish-yellow to whitish-green. The upper two petals and sepal work together to from a hood covering the top of the flower. The lower lip is longer then the spur that is behind the flower. Two sepals point out to the side. They can grow up to 23" tall and generally bloom sometime between July and August, depending on location and elevation.

1 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

Hildegard said...

What a delight to have you sharing your wild flowers with us! Thank you for all the research. It's an inspiration to me to keep my eyes open.