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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Orchid Overload

Wow. I am trying to get pictures formatted and ready to post here, but my head is just swimming.

Today we went to Cane Creek Canyon Preserve, which is privately owned, near Tuscumbia, Alabama. We got a tour from the owner, arranged in advance. He quickly learned that I wanted to see not just things in bloom, but every plant in sight. I quickly learned that this is a very special place. They have a high number of threatened and endangered plants. The benefit of going somewhere where there is a person with general and local knowledge is that he knew exactly where to find each plant, and what it is called. He and I were ecstatic- Loretta, and a local woman who went with us got dragged along for the ride, but insisted they didn't mind.

Today, I saw three different orchids, and learned that I saw the leaves of another on Monday. Three of the four are completely new to me. Here's a good example of why one needs a guide to find many of these plants. Here's the Southern Twayblade, Neottia bifolia, or Listera bifolia (they've changed the genus name), or Listera australis.

southern twayblade

Are you still hunting? Here's some help. Now you should be able to find the two paired leaves- twayblades

southern twayblade

Ready for the flower? You may not be impressed, but I think it's spectacular. The whole plant is about 8 inches tall.

southern twayblade
Here's the one I'd seen before. All we saw today were leaves and the beginning of the bud. But I really like this, because the more times you see a plant, particularly in a different place, you get used to slight variations. I previously saw this in flower in Ohio. Showy Orchis Galearis spectabilis

southern twayblade
I might have found this on my own since they had a cage around it to keep the deer from eating it. When you see plants in prison, you go look at why. But, even so, I might not have recognized it, and even if I'd guessed Show Orchis, I woudn't have been sure I was right. Here's the flower- taken in Ohio in 1999.

southern twayblade
Now I think I have to stop for today. It takes a lot of time to get the photos on my nature ID web site. Anyway, it's better for reading if there aren't too many at one time. And I'm sure you won't mind seeing more pretty plants instead of snow once I return home.

I am so "high" from all this wonderful botanizing, I don't know if people will be able to scrape me off the ceiling.

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The Furry Gnome said...

Great botanizing!

vanilla said...

In your element and having a swell time. Way to go, Sharkey.

Secondary Roads said...

What a great time! I can understand the high.

Ann said...

Glad you are enjoying yourself. You sure are finding lots of interesting things

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