Winter Orchids part II

The next orchid we can see in winter is Puttyroot orchid, also known as Adam and Eve, Aplectrum hyemale. This guy employs the same strategy as the Cranefly orchid does. It sends up its leaf in the fall and if/when the plant will bloom the leaf is pretty much gone. This leaf is also quite nice to look at. There is just one which shows white parallel veins.


 
Tom as observed over the years that the biggest leaves have the best chance of sending up a flower stalk. This does make sense as reproduction takes a lot of energy. The bigger the leaf, the more sunlight that the plant can convert into food energy. Anyway, one plant has been a fairly reliable bloomer over the past few years. It's the one conveniently located next to post 10 (i think). While it did not bloom last year (2012), this year is looking promising according to Tom's big leaf theory. Check it out below.
 
 
That's a AA battery by the way.
 
Similarly to the Cranefly orchid, seed pods can persist on this species as well.
 
 
Again, these seed pods should look familiar. Many orchid seed pods look very similar. The next photo is a closer veiw. You may notice that they are not quite open yet.
 

As I mentioned in the previous post, orchid seeds are so very small. In this photo, I've squeezed the pod a little so you can see how the individual seeds are packed in there.

 
Next, I've shown how "dusty" these guys really are. It does not take more that a breath of air to move one of these diminutive seeds. It really is amazing the amount of seeds produced in just one pod.


Our last orchid we'll take a look at has evergreen leaves that can be seen all year long. Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, Goodyera pubescens typically blooms late July or Early August. This one is a real looker and often grows in clumps.


Orchids can provide year round interest beyond their beautiful flowers. I hope when the snow melts you'll head outside and keep your eyes peeled for some of those elusive orchids!