Archive for the 'Orchids in the Wild' Category

These Coral Root Orchids Are Welcoming Summer

Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

The warm and sunny colors of these Coral Roots Orchids are a perfect way to welcome the first day of summer. Coral Roots, or Corallorhizas, are strange, leafless orchids. They live underground except when they flower. With no chlorophyll, they instead take nourishment from fungi in the soil. The wild orchids in these photos are […]

Have a Terrific Adventure with Orchids in the Wild Ecotours

Sunday, January 15th, 2023

Take a mind-blowing vacation and help endangered orchids at the same time! The Orchid Conservation Alliance (OCA) offers Orchids in the Wild Ecotours, expert-led trips to see orchids in their native homes. They range as far away as Madagascar, and as close as Ohio. This year’s itinerary also includes Italy, Brazil, and South Africa. The […]

Rare Orchids in the Utah Desert

Sunday, November 27th, 2022

Not many people would expect to find orchids in a desert in Utah, but orchids can turn up in unusual places. Platanthera zothecina, the Alcove Bog Orchid, is native to the upper Colorado River watershed in southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, and far western Colorado. It’s rare and endangered. The area is harsh, high-elevation desert, with […]

Weedy Orchids in the Wilds of Pacifica

Friday, October 7th, 2022

True to their nickname, Weedy Orchids are tough enough to survive harsh conditions. This invasive species is also known as the Broad-Leaved Helleborine or Epipactis helleborine. Last year, I did two blog posts, here and here, about Weedy Orchids thriving in a small forested area of our neighborhood. They’ve returned this year, their blooms flanking […]

A Weird Coralroot Orchid Grows in Austin

Monday, May 9th, 2022

Thanks to AboutOrchids reader Margaret Barnett for these fascinating photos of a wild, native orchid growing in Austin, Texas. This may look like bright yellow asparagus, but it’s an orchid. Corallorhiza orchids are commonly called Coralroots due their thick, coral-shaped rhizomes. This specimen lives beneath an oak tree, hidden underground, until its strange flowers spring […]

Donkey Orchids And Their Tricks

Sunday, January 16th, 2022

In Perth, Australia, biologist Daniela Scaccabarozzi, PhD, uncovers the complicated lives of Donkey Orchids. Named for their petals which stick up like donkey ears, Donkey Orchids such as Diuris magnifica and Diuris brumalis don’t offer nectar. However, they resemble nearby flowers which do. This food mimicry tricks bees into visiting. Failing to find nectar, the […]

A Wild, Weedy, and Intoxicating Orchid, Part 2

Monday, November 8th, 2021

The Broad-Leaved Helleborine is indeed a wild, weedy, and intoxicating orchid. It’s an invasive species in North America, with nectar that drugs its insect pollinators. On the coast, just south of San Francisco, the plants near us grow in a tough botanical neighborhood. Their small patch of woods on a steep hillside is full of […]

A Wild, Weedy, and Intoxicating Orchid: Epipactis helleborine

Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Have you ever seen a drunk wasp? I have. Dave and I recently spotted one while were on a trail in a small wooded area near our home in Pacifica. The insect, shown in the first two photos above, was intoxicated from the nectar of a wild orchid, the Broad-Leaved Helleborine. The wasp hung upside […]

The Surprising Putty Root Orchid

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Thanks so much to my friend Carola, who has generously let me post her photos of Putty Root Orchids near her home in Virginia. She’s taken pictures over the seasons, so they illustrate a year in the life of this extraordinary North American species. These orchids boast handsome leaves with alternating green and silvery-white pinstripes. […]

Wild Orchids of Sichuan, China

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

Want to take a magical orchid vacation without the hassles of travel? Settle in for three video tours from Botany Boy. China’s Sichuan province is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, and its fabled mountains are full of remarkable orchids. These videos include basic info about these spectacular wild beauties, so you’ll know what you’re […]