Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - green, fringed orchid

Just recently TPP posted the image of a rather small and inconspicuous orchid, the purple twayblade,  and here's another orchid in the same category and the same place, the green, fringed orchid (Platanthera (formerly Habenaria) lacera).  Jones' Flora of Illinois said this species was rare and limited to the northern-most counties, but our vegetational surveys in central Illinois have found this species surprisingly common such that you begin to think that such comments just mean people weren't looking enough or very hard or very closely. This plant was almost 0.5 m tall, but even then it was buried in meter tall vegetation such that if you weren't moving the taller plants aside for a look, you never ever would see it. This probably explains why so few specimens exist in our herbarium collection.

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