Canada native orchid trip (stop 1)

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Jan 22, 2008
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elmer, nj
This last July 4th weekend I arranged to take a trip to eastern ontario, canada with my orchid friends Ken Hull and Jerry Pedini. Both are from upstate ny where I used to live, and often get together when we check out native orchids in the area. Ken and I had received information last year about the whereabouts of amerorchis rotundifolia in the perth, canada region (near ottawa) and decided to try and find the spot (and other orchids) and get some pictures. We had three days to use and got off to a good start early the first day at an open fen near the u.s./canada border with a very rare orchid, not just rare in the u.s., but in canada and the world as well. (platanthera leuchophaea is also known as the eastern prairie fringed orchid)

there are other orchids here called rose pogonias and grass pinks. some pictures are with my iphone which doesn't have very good image adjustment and since the wind was blowing at times, the pictures aren't that hot


we make it to the border


at the fen, ken gets a head start, anxious to find and photograph the rare
orchid here, platanthera leuchophaea


our first leuchophaea plant in bud, making us think we might be too early (d'oh!)


we find mature p. leuchophaea, this plant hiding amongst cattail leaves


a leuchophaea in bud, with a plant of rose pogonia near and a grass pink far


rose pognias and pitcher plants


closer look at some rose pogonias, one a double-flower. in warmer
climes it's harder to find a double flower; up north the lower flower
is preserved sometimes until the second flower opens. usually the
first fades before the second opens fully


grass pinks


p. leuchophaea is like other platantheras in that the flowers look like
little people! the pollinia clusters end up looking like eyes... with
leuchophaea the dorsal sepal cups forward to look like a hood.
leuchophaea is a very beautiful flower, and has an attractive creamy






more in reply post
continued stop 1


this is a carnivorous plant, genus utricularia, commonly called bladderwort.
it has small bladders underwater that have small hairs near an opening into
the bladder. there is negative pressure inside, and when something small
brushes a hair the bladder door opens, sucking the prey inside. it is
possible for the whole organism to be drawn over time into the bladder,
as positive osmotic pressure pulls water out of the bladder, which resets the
trap when the mouth is freed and closes again



a wide-angle look at the patterned fen where leuchophaea is found here
We crossed north of Watertown, guess it's the 1000 islands bridge or something like that. Ken likely will read this so you just said hi to him :)

Yes, Dot, that would be a bummer :)
A few years ago I gave directions to the first spot to a native orchid conference member and on the way back he went to one of the Vermont/new Hampshire crossings since he was going to see orchids there, and told them he had been doing wildflower photography and they made him take everything out of his car :(
Well, very obviously I have not done enough exploring close to home as I have not seen any wild pitchers her in Ontario!
Wonderful experience!

Sent from my BlackBerry Bold 9900 using Tapatalk
Killer image.

Thanks! I'm always trying to keep my 'eye' open for things like that. Unfortunately on time schedule (ken was cracking the whip ;) ) I wasn't able to explore as much as I would have liked

Tom, I've heard leuchophaea favored more neutral to alkaline spots. The site was described to me as a 'patterned' fen, meaning you had pockets of this and that types of growth, based on the variations of soil 'elevation' and plant type. Where there were the most and largest fringed orchids there was more 'open' water and not so many of the other two. The other two often were together in certain areas, and where you might find the three somewhat nearby, the fringed ones weren't quite as robust. Think the fringed were in wetter soil and other two growing out of other plants/peaty spots

About not knowing what might be growing nearby, I lived right near a whole bunch of native orchids and bogs but never knew until I had left and then returned to the area! :) I even lived for two months in a small town that ended up being native orchid central for upstate ny (McLean, I was two months old...)
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#6 is my second favorite.
Nice hat trick with horsetail, rose pognias and Sarracenia.

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