Texas Orchids

Posted by @Horntoad on
When you think of orchids, you probably think of the tropical variety. They are often found in “big box” store garden centers or used in corsages. But there are 25,000 to 30,000 species of orchids in the world, and at least 10,000 of these grow in the tropics. Orchids have been found on every continent except Antarctica. There are even a few species that grow above the Arctic Circle.

There are approximately 200 species of orchids that grow in the United States and 54 of those species grow here in Texas. Unlike their tropical cousins, Texas orchids are terrestrial, growing in the soil rather than attached to trees or rocks. Orchids can be found throughout the state in a variety of environments, but the majority (36 species) are found in the wet East Texas woodland, bogs, and savannas.

One of the orchids found in Southeast Texas is the Grass Pink -- Calopogon tuberosus. The Grass Pink has an interesting method of pollination, which depends on large bees. The hinged labellum of the Grass Pink has a yellow spot and hairs that mimic the anthers of some flowers. The bee lands on the labellum, which folds forward under the weight of the bee, and the bee's back lands against the column, where the pollen is collected on its back. The bee then crawls out and flies to the next flower and repeats the process, thus depositing the pollen from the first flower to the new one.

A short video of the process can be viewed here: Grass Pink Pollination

Thumb of 2014-08-17/Horntoad/5034df

Chapman's Orchid is a rare orchid that can only be found in a few counties in Southeast Texas, Northern Florida, the adjacent area of Southern Georgia, and one county in North Carolina.

There is one 10-acre preserve in Southeast Texas that has at least eight species of native orchids. In addition to the Grass Pink and Chapman's Orchid, you can also find Snowy Orchid, Water Spider Orchid, Cranefly Orchid, Rose Pogonia, Whorled Pogonia, and Spring Ladies' Tresses there.

Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Excellent Article about Texas Orchids, Jay. by frostweed Oct 19, 2014 10:21 AM 2
Thanks for sharing... by pod Oct 19, 2014 7:25 AM 2
Untitled by klc Oct 18, 2014 9:52 PM 1
Grass Pink Pollination video by needrain Oct 18, 2014 6:51 PM 2

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