Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Green Bog Orchids: tough to see, but truly orchids!

Green Bog Orchid  © SB
Some flowers cry out for a close-up view, and none I've seen have cried louder than Saskatchewan's native Green Bog Orchid.

Unlike some prairie orchids, which appear glamourous and bright (at least in photographs), the Green Bog Orchid looks subdued and shy, and its green flowers don't look at all exciting — or like actual flowers —  until you get really, really close and realize, Yes! It's an Orchid! 

I had help with that. Someone else found a few orchid plants in a wet area, and kindly pointed them out to me. Even then, I wasn't sure what I was looking at until I got down on my hands and knees to peer at the green stalk, and saw that it really was covered in orchid flowers.

The four or five Green Bog Orchid plants that I saw earlier this summer were at most about one foot tall, and the individual flowers, only millimetres wide. No perfume, no colour but green (with a slight yellow tinge on the lip). And to me, highly exotic in their inconspicuous restraint.
Close-up of Green Bog Orchid flower.  © SB

It was difficult to photograph an entire Green Bog Orchid plant because of other vegetation in the area, with which these orchids blended wonderfully well... Below, the best of the lot — an enhanced image, with the background dulled and the brightness of the orchid stalk and lower leaves slightly increased.

For more on these orchids, see Saskatchewan Wildflowers, or Manitoba's Native Orchid Conservation.

Green Bog Orchid - full plant.  © SB

Prairie Wildflower: Green Bog Orchid (Platanthera aquilonis, formerly Platanthera hyperborea)
Location: Near Muenster, Saskatchewan, Canada.  
Photo Date: July 13, 2014.  


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