Friday, November 20, 2015

Wild Orchids in the Flatwoods

Looking for terrestrial orchids makes a walk in the woods all the more interesting.  These photos are from a walk around the Spartina Marsh in Charlotte Flatwoods Environmental Preserve in Punta Gorda, Florida.
These photos, taken in mid-autumn show two elegant, but easily missed native orchids.
Above and below are Mignonette Orchids (Habenara floribunda).  Also called Toothed Rein Orchid, this species is found throughout central and south Florida.  Growing up to 100cm tall  with yellow-green labellum, it is likely found in wet areas like the flatwoods surrounding the marsh of the preserve.  We found dozens (a few at a time) during a 2 1/2 hour walk.

If you want to learn more about wild orchids, or to identify one you have seen....then be sure to visit the Go Orchids website link below.  It's AWESOME!

Florida's Flatwoods are a unique habitat for orchids.  Here is a website to learn more.

Photographing wild orchids is harder than you think.  Below is a website with some great tips.  Wife, Olivia, is a better spotter and has a steadier camera hand!

Lots of great "orchid walks" here in SW Florida.  Be sure to visit Charlotte Flatwoods if you are in the area.....and give me a shout and I'll join you!

This beauty was the highlight of the day.....
Long-lipped Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes longilabris).

The entire plant is only up to 50cm tall and not easy to spot amid grasses, pine straw and Saw Palmetto.

Endemic to the Southeast U.S. it has a lovely white inflorescence.

See how easy it would be to miss one of these.

Always a great day to be out in nature.  So much to see....God's work never ceases to amaze.

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