Wildflowers forum: Melanie's Awesome Orchid Walk in Christmas, FL

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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Jun 8, 2016 3:36 PM CST
Hello, Wildflower Forum! I'm Melanie, moderator of the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds Forum. I'm always meaning to come over here and post, but I never seem to actually do it. You are one of the forums I "watch".

To give you some backstory, I'm friends on Facebook with the Florida Native Orchids page. It's pretty cool - if you're on Facebook, check it out. He does an annual walk over in the Christmas, FL (near Orlando) area and this year Mom and I decided to attend. We made four stops in all: two along Colonial Drive, then at Fort Christmas Historical Park, and then Orlando Wetlands Park. Side note: Mom and I went to Orlando Wetlands Park back in January with the Florida Wildflower Foundation. They had laid a lot of seed but they hadn't sprouted yet, so it was a lot of fun to see what it looked like six months later. Also, Orlando Wetlands Park is great for birding, if you're into that.

Our first stop along Colonial Drive was to see Scarlet Ladies' Tresses (Sacoila lanceolata). Fortunately, there were some businesses we could all park our cars at while we meandered through the flowers growing on the side of the road. We all rushed to see the orchids first.

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This is some kind of Fleabane.

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None of us seemed to know what this white flower was. It was growing along with some yellow flowers that I thought were dandelions, but maybe they weren't? I thought it was pretty though, so I took a picture.

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I heard this called "Evening Primrose" but don't know the Latin name. Mom really liked it.

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A few more miles down the road on Colonial Drive, we pulled over on the side of the road. Prem (our guide on the walk) had flagged and put tape around the plants in hopes they wouldn't be mowed down. They weren't! Here we saw a species of Calopogon, commonly known as Grass Pink Orchids.

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We learned how the bees are attracted to the "lip" part and pollinate the flower. It's a little more complicated than that, but I forget all the details.

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They grow right on the side of the road!

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Prem also pointed out some Rose Pogonia orchids that had already bloomed in the area. He has a good eye. They always look like grass to me. Other species in the area were butterfly pea which was spotted by one of the other participants. Like it's name suggests, it's a host plant for certain species of butterflies.

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There was a species of Sabatia growing in the area, but they were far taller than the variety I see over in Tampa.



Our official state wildflower, Coreopsis, was also present.

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There was also quite a bit of Lyreleaf Sage.

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No time to dally as we were on a schedule. Off to Fort Christmas Historic Park. This is actually a really nice place that I might have to revisit in the future. It has facilities, a visitor center, pavilions, and a sports field. There was a birthday party and a family reunion going on while we were there. Apparently, the family reunion and the Orchid Walk take place the same weekend every year.

The first time I found a Florida Butterfly Orchid, I was looking for Tillandsias (aka Air Plants). The most common one is Spanish Moss. So you look up in the trees and it looks like this.

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Zoom in a little and you can see some Resurrection Ferns, and a Florida Butterfly Orchid (Encyclia tampensis).

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Okay, I'm just going to post a bunch of pictures of Butterfly Orchids.

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And here's some Tillandsias in bloom.

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But there was another orchid to be seen! Prem walked us over to a Red Cedar and told us to try and find what was actually a pretty large specimen of this orchid. After several minutes of us trying and failing, he took mercy and showed us the Jingle Bell Orchid (Dendrophylax porrectus (syn. Harrisella porrecta)). They get the common name from the seedpods that dangle. Also, Red Cedar is a favored plant for them to grow on so keep your eyes open. Also, I think Prem said these bloom in August.

Hey, Mom made it in the picture!

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Then, it was off to Orlando Wetlands Park! It's actually a giant wastewater facility, but you get the side benefit of lots of flowers, birds, and other wildlife.

As expected, there are lots of water plants or plants that like wet feet like these Canna Lilies.

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Something in the Morning Glory family?

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I love Pickerel Weed.



This is Carolina Petunia, a native I grow in my own yard because it's a host plant for the Buckeye butterfly. It was growing all over the place here, but mostly in the shade. One lady said it was nearly invasive in her yard, but I haven't had that problem. It does self-seed, but I like the volunteers. It's nothing I couldn't pull out in a few hours.

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I'm not going to lie - at this point I was really feeling the heat. But I think that's a Butterfly Orchid on top of the Tillandsia. And I think that's a bud on it.

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Bacopa, or Water Hyssop. A host plant for the White Peacock butterfly. I don't know a lot of plants, but I know host plants!



There's a Greenfly Orchid in with that Tillandsia.

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Yellow Star Grass which is I think is in the Lily family. Mom liked this one, too.

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Fewflower Milkweed. This is the first native milkweed I've seen in the wild!



No idea, but I liked it.



There was a lot of Water Hemlock which is a good host plant for the Black Swallowtail, but very poisonous to humans. There's more Pickerel Weed in there, too.

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And back at the visitor center, there was Passiflora incarnata with a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar on it.



Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jun 8, 2016 4:07 PM CST
Thanks for linking us to this, Melanie! lovely wild flowers including orchids. I am really impressed with that Milkweed. It's a beauty!
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jun 8, 2016 5:09 PM CST
Thank you so much, Melanie! Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous and informative!! Lovey dubby
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Jun 8, 2016 5:15 PM CST
Here is a good video that shows how the grass pink gets pollinated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmff9cg6M7c
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


[Last edited by Horntoad - Jun 8, 2016 5:16 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1176432 (4)
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jun 8, 2016 5:41 PM CST
Interesting, Jay!
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jun 8, 2016 7:19 PM CST

Moderator

Melanie, as usual you are tireless and amazing. Thank you for showing us all those beautiful Florida wildflowers.
I loved the red orchids and the milkweed. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Jun 8, 2016 7:38 PM CST
Thanks Melanie
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Jun 18, 2016 6:36 PM CST

Moderator

Beautiful Melanie. Thumbs up Thank You! So nice to see the wildflowers growing! Love the Fewflower milkweed! I think your cute little pink "I don't know" flower is another Sabatia.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jul 23, 2016 5:31 PM CST
I enjoyed this so much! I'm going to be looking closer & closer at my oaks now as well as my cedars. I think Christine is right about the no ID pink flower being another Sabatia. And she's RIGHT! A quick Google & it's Swamp Marsh-pink - Sabatia calycina.
Here's the link to the db. You'll be the first with a photo!
Coastal Rose Gentian (Sabatia calycina)
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jul 23, 2016 5:33 PM CST
Your first photo of Sabatia is Large-flowered Marsh-pink - Sabatia grandiflora
Marsh-Pink (Sabatia grandiflora)
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Jul 23, 2016 7:29 PM CST
Ann, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Feel free to associate my pictures with the database. You know my Internet access is sketchy right now.

I will be doing a thread soon with all the wildflowers here in West Virginia so look forward to it!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jul 23, 2016 8:20 PM CST
@mellilong
Melanie I tried to associate them with the db but you have your setting so no one but you can do that. If you can change your setting I'll be happy to put them in the db for you.

I'm trying to catch up some on everything I've missed. I have yet to read your thread about your trip to Bradenton Beach.
I also have 300 + photos to go through & cull & then post, not to mention ones I've already culled & have yet to post. So much to do, so little time. Yikes!

I have some tiger ST & skippers to post. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 23, 2016 11:23 PM CST
Fixed that, Ann. There was a reason I did that, but it's no longer applicable so I changed it back. Thumbs up
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Jul 24, 2016 7:03 AM CST
Okay! They're done! Smiling
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 24, 2016 9:02 AM CST
Thanks! I added the date and location info just now.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!

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