Wyoming native orchids

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Jan 22, 2008
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elmer, nj
Last week while visiting wyoming for a family gathering, I decided to check out an area that fellow native orchid hunter/photographer ken hull of binghamton, ny had told me about where he had found several native orchids in early july of previous years (and spots in yellowstone and nearby that I wasn't able to visit). My brother and I got a rental vehicle and headed up the moose/wilson road beyond the teton village ski area (jackson hole, wy), to the forested area nearby the laurence s. rockefeller preserve, which has boglands which contain native orchids in the spring. Ken had found a few different coralroots, which are mostly non-chlorophyll containing plants (they get their food like mushrooms do). He had seen forms of corallorhiza maculata and striata. When we got in the wooded area and near the preserve, there were signs along both sides of the road that stated 'no parking along the road' except for appointed parking areas. this was a bit of a bother, but since there were plenty of white vehicles with 'official government' license plates with watchful people inside of them, I decided to comply. as soon as we were north of the first sign on the opposite side of the road (meaning the no parking restriction was not in effect), I saw a wide spot where others had pulled over and parked the truck. before I had even gotten out of the vehicle I had spotted what I thought was a very large pinedrops plant. since I had never seen it before (it's very rare in ny state), I wasn't sure but checking it out online confirmed it's identity. not long after, I spotted a few old flowers of a goodyera sticking up through some dry ground cover. after taking a few pictures I spotted a few different plants of coral roots with seed pods, and an old dried up stem of a goodyera that had released it's seeds already. not long after, I found many goodyera leaves and plants with flowers, and decided that it was goodyera oblongifolia. this orchid isn't recognized as being in new york state (I think it's found in maine), and wasn't a species I had seen before! so, it was 'ice cream time' ;) I found plants with old flowers, nice flowers and a plant that had buds and no open flowers. it must have been quite a good spot, because after we left and checked out another spot about a quarter mile down the road, a quick check with impending thunderstorm revealed pinedrops but no orchids


goodyera oblongifolia


leaves of goodyera


insect visitor and possible pollinator?



seedpod from last years' goodyera oblongifolia


a coralroot with seed pods





flower closeup



older coralroot with seed pods already opened


goodyera with unopened flowers

though I found a green bog orchid up nearby teton pass about ten years ago, I believe that this is the first orchid that i've found that isn't found in new york state. all other orchids i've seen, even if in other countries or states, have also been found in new york. I guess I should have another ice cream since this is the first of a new category (I'm always looking for a reasonable excuse to have ice cream, and there is some home-made vanilla in the freezer :D )
Good photos....Goodyera oblongifolia does grow in NY....3 plant! 1 is in my garden in Queens, and the other 2 are in my Cutchogue garden. (Got them this year on Ebay.) One of the Cutchogue plants bloomed and set seed, so maybe it will naturalize...C. acaule is native to the area, so if they use the same fungi, the seeds might stand a chance...On the other hand, I've had G. pubescens setting seed every other year or so, with no seedlings that i can detect.
I'd be cautious about keeping the soil cool for them, since where they grow doesn't get the extremes of heat as we do in upstate and downstate ny. ... though, it may be that the mycorrhizae they need to germinate doesn't survive here