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What is it?

This is a discussion on What is it? within the Orchids of Other Genera IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; This little guy is growing wild on my sisters property in North Carolina. I have ...

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  1. #1
    Diane's Avatar
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    Exclamation What is it?

    This little guy is growing wild on my sisters property in North Carolina. I have no idea what it is. She is hoping it is a wild orchid. anyone have any idea? No leaves showing, just a flower spike - at least that is what she said. (The hand with the big sparkler is hers, not mine.... unfortunately) And you can blame her for the poor picture quality.

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    I'm not up on wildflowers, but my friends who are, will be back from Africa in a week. If it's still NOID by then, I'll run it past them.

    Julie

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    I think it might be : Hexalectris_spicata, I'll try to find a link.

    http://www.ncwildflower.org/plants/o...is_spicata.jpg

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    http://the-light.com/orchids/ldl1.html
    It looks like one of those orchids that is in the Corallorhiza genus that produces no chlorophyll so it relies on a fungus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corallorhiza I was reading about these guys last night

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    Diane, it looks to me like a putty root orchid. Nice find!!! Aplectrum have a usually single leaf in the fall/winter which usually withers and dies before blooming, and blooms on a leafless stem in early/mid summer.
    "Aplectrum hyemale is an American native orchid that grows as far north as southern Ontario and Quebec, east to Maine, south to Georgia, and as far west as western Arkansas and Nebraska. It's called both Adam and Eve Orchid and Putty Root. The former name comes from the fact that the old root (Adam) gives rise to the new root (Eve), and then continues to hang around. The latter name references the fact that early settlers used a secretion from the root as glue for pottery and other materials. An oddity about this plant is that it sends up a pretty, upright, ribbed leaf in the fall, and this remains through the winter, dying just a month or two before sending up a flower spiker. The flower itself is spurless (without plectrum = Aplectrum) and greenish yellow, infused with purple, borne on a 1' spike." from Hardy Terrestrial Orchids These are not the best pics but all I could find on short notice -
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    Tmai

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    Checking the North Carolina native plants, the putty root is found there, but is the wrong shape and color, and usually found in a different type of area. The Corallorhiza is a possibility, and there are 3 or 4 known in NC, but they are more in the piedmont and mountains, not the coast, and the color on the closest one (maculata I think) is much more red/pink. So I'll stick with my guess of the Hexalectris. Which is kind of exciting, it is considered Rare, with an estimated 20 to 50 colonies statewide - although it is much more common in other states.

    I had sis mark off the area so we can look for it again next year!

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    On closer look at my "Native Orchids of the Souther Appalachian Mountains", I think you are right! I hadn't considered Hexalectris (not a true coralroot). The lip, petals, and general flower shape is right, and the bloom time is correct whereas putty root would be late blooming right now. Guess I need to go back to wildflower school LOL. =) Beautiful flowers! Thanks for sharing.
    Tmai
    Last edited by Tmai; July 12th, 2006 at 12:36 PM.

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