Monday, May 8, 2017

Listera australis

Our friend Rosanne asked if we'd like to photograph an orchid in the Pine Barrens. We said yes. She warned us that the habitat would be wet. We still said yes.

She wasn't kidding, as can be seen below. It was very squishy.

It is sites like this that were the inspiration for my bog.

The orchid we were looking for is small. Really small. We spent several good minutes looking for them. And Rosanne had been there the prior week and knew where they were!

The knife is four inches long*. The orchid is immediately above it.

It is the Southern Twayblade Orchid. Here are the flowers.

Howard Boyd, in his Wild Flowers of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, notes "Rare in low, damp, well-shaded woodlands. ... a very difficult flower to spot. Extremely rare in southern New Jersey. This writer knows of only two locations for it ...".

I've now seen it in two locations in southern New Jersey, one inside and one outside the Pine Barrens.

Photography was made difficult by the quaking nature of the bog, a slight breeze, and the lack of sunlight in the under-story. There were more plants towards the center of the bog, out from under the trees and in better light. But the 'ground' would not have held my weight (I so need to go on a diet ...).

Thanks to Rosanne for sharing. And for New Jersey for having the foresight to preserve such a wonderful ecosystem.

* No orchids, or any other plants, were harmed to create this post. We can't say the same for the mosquitos and ticks.

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