Orchid Mania August 23, 2007
Ok, it was only one orchid. But it does not take much to get me excited, especially this time of year. But you figured that out by now.
I got to do a little reconnaissance work for the Mohican Forest and the “The Three Charities” this afternoon. Boy, it is tough work to tramp around a beautiful forest and take photos of rare and usual plants. Ok there was some work stuff too, but who cares! I was looking at the botany!
The find of the day was when we stumbled on to a native orchid. Oh, sure, this one is not as showy as the Lady Slipper Orchid but it was a pleasure to see, nonetheless.
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, Goodyera pubescens is always fun to find. The individual inflorescence is 6 parted and form spike-like clusters along the stem. As lovely as the flowers are, the foliage is a real eye-catcher. Look at the gorgeous white stripes and netting. The soft downey hair on the leaves, hence the “ pubescence” is a telling characteristic. This plant was named after John Goodyer (1592-1664), not a spelling error… Goodyer.
A plant of high and dry habitats, this one was on the high rock ridge at the Mohican Outdoor School. It is an amazing place, even by Mohican standards. If you ever have the chance to visit, don’t miss out. This spot has more botanical rarities than you can imagine.
On a side note: one cultural use of this plant is to mix tea with whiskey or in compound and it becomes a stimulant. Yeah, I have tried the whiskey part, but never thought of putting an orchid in it. See you can learn something every day!