Archive for the 'Orchids in the Wild' Category

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 […]

The Deceptive Ways of the Calypso Orchid

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

In Defense of Plants exposes The Deceptive Ways of the Calypso Orchid. This dainty, charming species grows in northern forests of North America, Europe, and Asia, where it’s pollinated by bumblebees. The bees are attracted by the orchid’s sweet fragrance, yellow hairs on the flower lip which mimic pollen, and nectar spurs. But the yellow […]

More Native Colorado Orchids

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

It’s always a pleasure to see orchids growing happily in the wild. During a recent family hike in Colorado’s San Juan National Forest, we spotted a couple of native orchid varieties. The first three rows of photos show the charming Goodyera oblongifolia, or Western Rattlesnake Plaintain. It’s named for its reticulated leaves which resemble snakeskin. […]

Native Colorado Orchids in Bloom

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Orchids are not just denizens of the tropics; they live almost everywhere in the world. Even the high elevations of Colorado’s Four Corners region host many native species. Two of them are shown here: the Fairy Slipper, or Calypso bulbosa, and the Bog Orchid, or Platanthera. My mother-in-law took these photos in early July while […]

Orchids for Summer

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Celebrate today’s summer solstice with this wonderful Irish Marsh Orchid, blooming last week in County Kerry. This species is native only to the Emerald Isle. In the Irish language, it’s called Magairlin gaelach.┬áThe intense colors and spotted patterns on the flower lip rival the showiness of many better-known tropical cousins. These European terrestrial species can […]