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Bewitched

This is a discussion on Bewitched within the Orchids of Other Genera IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; This native orchid, found in the southeastern United States and parts of the tropical Americas, ...

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  1. #1
    prem's Avatar
    prem is offline Senior Member
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    Default Bewitched

    This native orchid, found in the southeastern United States and parts of the tropical Americas, is known in common parlance as the Shadow Witch. Botanists know it better as Ponthieva racemosa. It generally blooms in the late fall and early winter in moist woodlands. It is often associated with calcareous soils overlaying limestone, but not always. The plant consists of a basal rosette of leaves, about 3 inches long. The flowers are about 1cm across, possessing a light, sweet scent with a hint of lime.

    This particular flowering was captured at Ichetucknee Springs State Park in northern peninsular Florida. My son, Josh, and I saw six species/intergrades of orchids this particular day (Spiranthes odorata, Spiranthes ovalis, Spiranthes x ichetuckneensis (odorata x ovalis), Ponthieva racemosa, Triphora trianthophora, and Epidendrum conopseum).

    Enjoy!





    ---Prem

  2. #2
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    thanks for sharing these Floridian native species with us Prem.

  3. #3
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    Wow, the flowers are very nice...your ability to get such a small flower to come out well in a picture is amazing! Great job! When you look for the native plants, are they along a path or are you wandering through the woods?? I would love to look for them but my chair limits my "foraging" abilities.
    Connie

  4. #4
    prem's Avatar
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    Connie,
    it all depends on the area. There are places where native orchids can be seen that are quite accessible. This particular area with the Shadow Witches would not be classified that way - it took some clambering up and down reasonably steep grades to find these.

    ---Prem

  5. #5
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    Interesting flower. Any idea as to the origin of the common name?

  6. #6
    prem's Avatar
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    Pavel,
    I tried to do research on the name, but came up empty. I am assuming that it is so named because it tends to grow in shadowy woodlands, somewhat secreted away from where humans generally tend to go.

    ---Prem

  7. #7
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Prem, not sure is you posted here before but even if you have, your website of native Floridian species is well worth sharing again...please!

    How is that family of yours? Baker's dozen correct? I don't now where you find the time for your passion but I am glad you do...thank you!

  8. #8
    prem's Avatar
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    Hi Ron,
    Yes, we have 13 and one on the way...things are often quite busy around the Subrahmanyam home. But, I often take small groups of the children out with me when I am out in the field, so neither activity (orchid hunting vs. family time) is exclusive of the other.

    ---Prem

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