Thursday, March 5, 2020

Fringed Orchids

Platanthera

A large genus of perennials that include some of the most spectacular orchids found in temperate climate regions in North America, Europe and eastern Asia. These are among North America's most endangered wildflowers and all are adapted to exact site requirements. They do not do well in cultivation. This article is to bring awareness to these critically endangered plants and to encourage protection of them where they occur.

Platanthera aquilonis ( Northern Green Orchid )
An upright perennial, reaching up to 3.3 feet tall, that is native to partial to fully shaded wet forests and bogs in northern North America ( from Alaska to Northwest Territories to central Manitoba to Winisk, Ontario to Labrador to Newfoundland; south to California to New Mexico to Nebraska to Iowa to Indiana to northern New Jersey ). It is extinct in Ohio where it occurred in Logan, Wayne and Stark Counties in the central part of the state and quite likely also occurred in the great black swamp in the northwestern part of the state. Critically endangered in Arizona, New Jersey and Pennsylvania where it is still found in 3 counties around Erie but was formerly also found around Honesdale in the northeastern part of the state. Threatened in Yukon, Labrador, Nebraska and Massachusetts.
The flowers appear during early summer.

* recommended video link


Platanthera blephariglottis ( White Fringed Orchid )
A perennial, reaching up to 3.3 feet in height, that is native to partial to full sun in wet, acidic cranberry or tamarack bogs in the far northern lower peninsula of Michigan to Muskoka region of Ontario to southern Quebec to Newfoundland; south to southwest Michigan to Toledo Ohio to Akron, Ohio to Somerset, Pennsylvania to Easton Pennsylvania to Cape Cod. A separate population var. conspicua can be found from Galveston, Texas to central Mississippi to central Alabama to far northern Georgia to central North Carolina to Front Royal Virginia to Long Island, New York. There is an additional isolated natural occurence around Havana, Illinois. It is critically endangered in Louisiana, Georgia, Illinois, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Ohio. In Ohio, it is extinct in the Toldeo, Cleveland and Ashtabula areas, in the past 4 decades it has only been found near Ravenna. When it was rediscovered there in 1983, it had been presumed to be extinct in Ohio for over 45 years. It is endangered in Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Prince Edward Island. In Maryland, it remains in Wicomico & Wocester County, it is extinct in Anne Arundel County.
The lance-shaped to elliptical leaves, up to 8 x 1.2 inches are bright green. There are 2 to 3 leaves at the base of each stem.
The white flowers are borne 20 to 30 on an upright raceme. They are mildly spicily fragrant. They appear during mid-summer.

* recommended video link


Platanthera ciliaris ( Orange Fringed Orchid )
A perennial, reaching up to 3.3 ( rarely over 2 ) feet, that is native to sunny, wet, acidic, sandy fields in eastern North America ( from northeast Illinois to central Michigan to central New York to northern New Hampshire; south to central Texas to central Florida ). It is now extinct in Massachusetts ( originally in 6 counties ), New Hampshire and Ontario though in the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was found on sandy ground near Windsor and near Leamington during the 1800s. Orange Fringed Orchid is critically endangered in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York State ( orig in 14 counties ), Connecticut ( orig in 4 counties ) and Rhode Island. In Michigan, it is now extinct in 11 of the 18 counties it was originally found in. in Indiana, it was originally widespread in 10 counties across the northern portion of the state though has since become extinct in 8 of those. In New Jersey, it is now extinct in 12 of the 16 counties it was originally found in. It is endangered in Ohio where it is now extinct in at least 5 of the 8 counties it was found originally. It is also endangered in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. It can still be found in Frederick County, is extinct in Garrett, Howard, Prince Georges & Anne Arunel & Baltimore counties. Threatened in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. Destruction of wetlands, changing climate and overpicking has caused steep declines in most of its natural range.
The oblanceolate leaves are up to 12 inches in length.
The bright orange flowers are borne on a raceme up to 8 inches in length, during late summer. The flowers are pollinated exclusively by large butterflies, mostly swallowtails. This is one of the most beautiful orchids native to North America.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

* recommended video link


Platanthera flava ( Palegreen Orchid )
A perennial, reaching up to 16 inches in height, that is native to seasonally flooded shorelines of rivers and lakes in eastern North America ( from Ontario to Nova Scotia; south to Texas to Florida ). In the Windsor/Essex County region; it is only known to occur on Cedar Point on the Ohio lakeshore during the 1800s. It is endangered in Maryland where it can still be found in Garrett & Caroline Counties but is extinct in Alleghany, Prince Georges, Anne Arunel & Worcester Counties.
. The lance-shaped leaves are glossy bright green.
Up to 40 greenish-white flowers may be borne on the upright inflorescences.

Platanthera grandiflora ( Large Purple Fringed Orchid )
A perennial, reaching up to 4 feet, that is native to partial to full sun, alder swamp or shrubby borders of bogs in eastern North America ( from Michigan to southern Ontario to southeatern Quebec to Newfoundland; south to far northeastern Ohio to mountains of far northern Georgia to central Maryland to northern New Jersey ). It is now extinct in Ohio and has been since 1928 but was previously found in Portage and Ashtabula counties. It is critically endangered in Maryland, it still occurs in Garrett and Frederick County, has not been seen in Howard County since 2013. Destruction of wetland, climate change and over picking has led to steep declines in much of its range. In Ontario, it is most common in acidic swamps in eastern Ontario. It does not transplant well.
The lilac-pink to rose flowers appear during early to mid summer.

* recommended video link


Platanthera hookeri ( Hooker's Orchis )
A perennial, reaching up to 14 ( rarely over 10 ) inches in height, that is native in semi-shaded, well drained, sandy, hemlock-arborvitae-maple-beech forests in eastern North America ( from Manitoba to Atikokan, Ontario to Raith, Ontario to Nipigon, ON to Algonquin NTL Park, ON to Newfoundland; south to northeastern Iowa to Chicago, Illinois to Laporte, Indiana to Hillsdale, Michigan to Cleveland-Medina, Ohio to Somerset, Pennsylvania to Pottsville, PA to northern New Jersey ). While once widespread along the Ohio shoreline from Oberlin to Ashtabula, it has been extinct inOhio since 1897. It previously also had an isolated occurance in Fairfield County in central Ohio. It has also become extinct in Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and Connecticut. Hookers Orchis is critically endangered in Iowa ( remains in only 1 of 8 original counties ), Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island and Prince Edward Island. In Pennsylvania, it was formerly widespread in all but the southeastern 1/3 of the state, it remains only in Huntingdon County. It is endangered in Manitoba, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Vermont and Newfoundland. Threatened in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Soil compaction, overgrazing by deer, loss of old growth forests and climate change has led to its steep declines in the southern parts of its natural range.
Each stem has 2 broadly-oblong leaves up to 6 inches long. The thick leaves lie flat on the ground.
Each flower stalk has 10 to 15 bractless, yellowish-green flowers, up to 0.7 inches wide.

Platanthera hyperborea var. huronensis ( Fragrant Green Orchid )
A perennial, that is native to western North America ( from Alaska to the Yukon; south to British Columbia and Alberta, as well as high mountains from Wyoming to central New Mexico ). It is also native to eastern North America ( from Manitoba to Manitoulin Island, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to Iowa to Peoria, Illinois to Michigan to southern Ontario to the 3 county Erie section of Pennsylvania to Salamanca in southwest New York State ). It is also locally native to far northeastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, and most of New England east of New York. It has become extinct in New Jersey and is critically endangered in Nova Scotia, New York State and Pennsylvania. It is endangered in Illinois, Massachusetts and New Brunswick and threatened in the Yukon, Vermont and Labrador. Fragrant Green Orchid is also found on southern Greenland and Iceland.

Platanthera leucophaea ( Prairie White Fringed Orchid )
A long-lived perennial, reaching up to 4 feet, that is native to full sun, neutral to alkaline wet prairies in eastern North America ( from northwestern Iowa to central Wisconsin to the far northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan to Tobermory, Ontario to to Ottawa, Ontario to Oswego, New York; south to southeastern Oklahoma to southeastern Missouri to St Louis, Missouri to Noblesville in central Indiana to Franklin County in central Ohio to Erie, Pennsylvania to Onongada County, New York near the eastern corner of Lake Ontario ). In some areas such as the Ottawa region and the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, it is also found in Tamarack swamp. It is also native to the area around Staunton, Virginia leading a mystery to the gap between there and the rest of its natural range. It was once scattered across 11 counties in the northwestern 2/3s of Ohio, during the past 4 decades, it has only been found in 7 counties. It was originally most common in the black swamp region and the Sandusky area of northern Ohio where its range was continuous. It was once common on wet prairies of the Mississippi Valley but is now largely gone due to habitat destruction for industrial agriculture. In Ontario, it is now endangered and has become highly localized in recent decades. It was once common in Ontario in the wetlands around Lake St Clair and on Wapole Island. It once occurred in Oklahoma in Choctow County but has been extinct there for 150 years. Drainage of its prime habitat for agriculture, loss of pollinators, competition from weeds such as Phragmites and Purple Loosestife as well as picking of flowers are the main causes of its steep population declines. Its tuberous root stock enables it to survive grass fires which in much of its natural range was essential for removing competing vegetation.
The creamy-white to pure white, fringed flowers, up to 1.2 inches wide, are borne on an upright, cylindrical spike during early to late summer, lasting up to 3 weeks. From 15 to 40 flowers may appear on a stem. The flowers are mostly pollinated by Large Sphinx Moth and Hawk Moth at night. It may skip blooming during some years. The flowers are fragrant at sunset.

* photo of unknown internet source

* recommended video link


Platanthera peramoena ( Purple Fringeless Orchid )
A perennial, native to moist forests and streamsides in the eastern U.S. ( from southeastern Missouri to central Indiana to Wooster, Ohio to Indiana County, Pennsylvania to New York City; south to central Arkansas to central Alabama to far northern Georgia to central Virginia to northern Delaware ). It has become extinct in South Carolina where it was only native to Greenville County in the far western part of the state. It is critically endangered in Georgia where it is native to only 4 counties as well as in Alabama where it only remains in 2 of its 3 native counties. It is also critically endangered in Virginia where it only remains in 6 of the counties that it's been previously documented in. Purple Fringeless Orchid is also critically endangered in Maryland where it was once widespread west of Chesapeake Bay anywhere north of Upper Marlboro but is now restricted to Carrol & Howard Counties. It is critically endagered in Delaware and may even by extinct in New Jersey where it has not been recently documented in any of the 5 counties it is native. it is endangered in Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Threatened in Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Pennsylvania ( remains in 6 of 14 counties )
The lavender-purple flowers appear during the summer. It is mostly pollinated by Hummingbird Clearwing Moth.

* recommended video link


Platanthera praeclara ( Great Plains White Fringed Orchid )
A long-lived perennial, reaching up to 2.8 feet, that is native to moist tallgrass prairies and sedge meadows in central North America ( from Manitoba to far western Wisconsin; south to south-central Oklahoma to southwest Missouri...also found in central Wyoming ). It is almost certainly extinct in Wisconsin and has only ever been confirmed in adjoining Minnesota Counties and is extinct in Oklahoma. It is endangered in the remainder of its range. It has adapted with grass fires which likely benefit if occurring during the dormant season, by removing competition. The small remaining Canadian population is protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The white flowers appear during early summer. They are pollinated by Sphinx Moths at night.

* photo of unknown internet source

* recommended video link


Platanthera psycodes ( Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid )
A perennial, reaching up to 3 ( rarely over 2 ) feet, that is native to partially shaded, neutral to acidic, wet alder thicket and shrubby borders of bogs in eastern North America ( from Manitoba to Mine Centre, ON to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Elliott Lake, ON to Newfoundland; south to Bremer County in northeastern Iowa to Chicago, Illinois to central Indiana to central Ohio to high mountains in far northern Georgia to Baltimore, Maryland to central New Jersey ). It has only been found in 8 of the 23 Ohio counties that it is native to within the past 4 decades. Deforestation, changes in water table and overpicking has led to its steep decline. It is extinct in Maryland, having last been seen in Baltimore in 1951.
The elliptical leaves are dull mid-green.
The lavender-purple flowers appear from early to late summer.
It is tolerant of standing water. It does not transplant easily.

* photo of unknown internet source

* recommended video link

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