Orchids forum: Native Orchids

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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Mar 5, 2019 6:30 AM CST
What native orchids do you have where you live?
We are supposed to have a native Epidendrum, E. magnoliae (the Green Fly Orchid) around the Gainesville area, but I have been looking up in the trees for it since 1992 and have never seen one. Andy's Orchids carried it sometimes. Has anyone actually seen one in the wild?

Of course there is Encyclia tampiensis in Central FL and the Ghost Orchid in South FL. The local butterfly exhibit here has a single Ghost Orchid (they used to have 7, all but one has died, I consider that a horrible waste) here is a photo of their one remaining plant

Thumb of 2019-03-05/Gina1960/97360a

Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Mar 5, 2019 7:44 AM CST
I hope you realize that with orchid growing as popular as it is, many of Florida's native orchids have gone extinct. If there are a few hanging in somewhere in Gainesville, you can bet that they are found where nonhuman can see them.
The Ghost orchid is an orchid of the extreme southern swamps in Florida. I have no idea of how common they might be out of that area.
Great strides are being made in the Big Panther Refuge and the Fackatahatchee Strand off of Alligator Alley. The Naples Orchid Society, where I was for 9 years, is heavily committed to re-establishing native orchids including that one.
They are working with a Cuban Orchidist, Illinois College, Florida Natural Resources people and State Biologists in implementing that program.
Encyclia tampensis was growing every where in the Tampa area through the early 50's. I don't think there are any left. There are a few plants established at the Ding Darling NWR visitor center.
The Naples Botanical Garden has established dozens of Ghost Orchids within their property but they are not letting the public anywhere near them!!!
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Mar 5, 2019 7:52 AM CST
That only makes sense. I live in dense woods, there are places in the adjacent wildlife refuge that no one can get to unless they sneak past the rangers and risk fines. There may be some out there. I don't want to collect it, I just want to see it!
I had thought I might chance tho see one someday. When we first moved here in the early 90's, plants people I met said you could see them sometimes, they said 'just look up, they grow high in the trees'. So there must be some somewhere.
I know there is a breeding program for the Ghost Orchid, they are trying to bring it back. I hope they do.
The problem with our local rainforest habitat is that the guy who is in charge of it seems to treat it like his own personal garden experiment. As a public education entity they get plants at much better prices than the public would. I asked him specifically about the ghost orchid when I was there and he seemed really cavalier and nonchalant about the fact that it was the last of 7 that they had originally had. He said something like. well this one is managing to hang on. I thought it was pretty sad.
Their newest acquisition is a Rainbow Eucalyptus. We'll see how long that lasts.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Mar 5, 2019 8:00 AM CST
I don't think that Ghost orchids would do well that far North. Perhaps that is why only 1 remains.
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Mar 5, 2019 8:01 AM CST
Exactly.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
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Ursula
Mar 5, 2019 8:07 AM CST

Moderator

Talking about native Florida Orchids - you have Prem Subrahmanyam!
https://www.flnativeorchids.co...
He also conducts habitat day tours on foot.
[Last edited by Ursula - Mar 5, 2019 8:09 AM (+)]
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Mar 5, 2019 8:11 AM CST
Gina, if you really want to, get in touch with the Fakatahatchee Strand people through their website.
They run "Swamp Walks" to visit the
local flora and fauna. I know that Ghost orchids within the strand are included on the walk. I am sure that other things are included that would interest you!!!
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Mar 5, 2019 8:32 AM CST
We almost never get that far downstate Bill, but if we do it would be a fantastic opportunity! Ursula, thanks for the website!
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Mar 5, 2019 8:36 AM CST

Moderator

We have a place in NE Pennsylvania and we track the stands of several native Orchids of that region for ca 30 years now:
Cypripedium acaule
Platanthera lacera
Epipactis helleborine
Spiranthes cernua
I have been posting pictures of this every year on this forum throughout the seasons.

One year, early on in our "orchid hunting" we came across a different plant in spike. At our next visit, the spike was almost eaten, but it allowed identification through remaining 2 blooms or so. It was surly Platanthera orbiculata. We visit that spot and surrounding every year, we never saw it again despite protecting it.
We learned an important lesson from this, never to walk in a path past an Orchid patch, Deer will use your path and eat everything in sight.

This walk-about thread happens to hold pictures of all our 4 Pennsy Orchids, if one feels like looking.
The thread "Some walks around the neighborhood in 2016" in Orchids forum
[Last edited by Ursula - Mar 5, 2019 8:48 AM (+)]
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Mar 5, 2019 9:14 AM CST
I tried to grow Cypripedium acaule many years ago. I received it in a plant trade. It was not suited to this climate.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Mar 5, 2019 9:33 AM CST

Moderator

Added later - I should say that most wild Orchids for sale are not collected from the wild , but they are usually grown from hybridized plants to give them a chance to survive.
( I would never remove any Orchid from their habitat, since one will never keep them alive once removed.)

Yes, I could imagine that not only the temperature in your environment is not suitable, but also the growing medium probably lacks fungal - and other micronutrients. Cyp acaule in our Pennsylvania forest always grow around the periphery of conifer groupings (acidic ground) surrounded by deciduous trees and ferns, providing full sun in Winter and protection in Summer. Looking at the ground cover, it is very specific, I could imagine that is pretty impossible to duplicate.

I should mention we also track some New Jersey Cyp acaule. We find those South of the Driscoll Bridge in NJ, actually growing right next to the bike path in back of my daughter's place, and we see them in the nearby Ramapo mountains. Both areas have Mountain Laurel nearby.

All areas have one thing in common - wild Lily of the Valley/ Maianthemum canadense. When I see a patch of that popping up somewhere in May, I will certainly start taking a closer look what else I might find. Actually that is how I discovered that nice patch near my daughter's house.
[Last edited by Ursula - Mar 5, 2019 9:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Alice
Ponte Vedra, FL (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Mar 5, 2019 10:24 AM CST
So many of the native orchids are really tiny. The Green Fly is a good example, it is not only very small but it grows so high up in the trees it is hard to find. They were actully fairly common near my previous home in SC but seeing them was rare.

Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Mar 7, 2019 8:41 AM CST
Here is an interesting article about an astonishing find of ram's head ladyslippers. This is very close to where I live.
https://ottawacitizen.com/news...
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Mar 7, 2019 9:26 AM CST

Moderator

Pretty awesome! I can only imagine coming across a stand like this! Great link! Thumbs up

Actually, I can imagine a tiny bit what it is like to come across a couple of thousand blooming Orchids at a clip. Smiling Spiranthes cernua.
This one is on slope next to rt 380 towards Scranton, and if you stop around Labor Day at sundown at that spot, which we always do, the whole hill smells of Anise.
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[Last edited by Ursula - Mar 7, 2019 9:33 AM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
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ctcarol
Mar 7, 2019 9:58 AM CST
I've seen the Spiranthes like that in Ca., but only in the high Sierras.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 7, 2019 11:38 AM CST
This is one of our natives - about the only one available for sale that I know of. Epipactis gigantea, a terrestrial (all our natives are) found in permanent seeps and along perennial stream beds in California. The dark colored one is Epipactis gigantea 'serpentine night', found in only one spot in Sonoma County. These are in my backyard.

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Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
Mar 7, 2019 12:16 PM CST
That must be a gorgeous sight, Ursula. I have a species of orchid growing wild on my property. I think it is a Spiranthes. I will photograph it this year and see if I can identify it.
I do have this orchid growing very near one of my garden paths.

Over the years, I have had various wildflowers seed themselves in my gardens, and I leave them to grow.

Very pretty, Daisy!
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Mar 7, 2019 2:30 PM CST
DaisyI said:This is one of our natives - about the only one available for sale that I know of. Epipactis gigantea, a terrestrial (all our natives are) found in permanent seeps and along perennial stream beds in California. The dark colored one is Epipactis gigantea 'serpentine night', found in only one spot in Sonoma County. These are in my backyard.

Thumb of 2019-03-07/DaisyI/136df1
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WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws

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JHeirloomSeeds
Mar 7, 2019 2:41 PM CST
Interesting thread, Gina! I love finding orchids in the wild. Maine has quite a few, some of them are rare, but we have a lot of untouched woods especially in the far northern and western part of the state. These are on and around our property...

Pink Lady's Slipper (Moccasin Flower)…

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Yellow Lady's Slipper...


North Wind Bog Orchid...


Broad-leaved Helleborine...this one is not native and grows like a weed, but it is pretty!


My new blog: https://yeflowerlovers.blogspo...
"Look around you - the clear sky, the pure air, the tender grass, the birds; nature is beautiful and sinless, and we, only we, are foolish and we don't understand that life is heaven, for we have only to understand that and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty, we shall embrace each other and weep."
~Dostoevsky
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Mar 7, 2019 2:43 PM CST
Ditto! Epipactis is supposed to grow in Orange county, but most of our streams dried up long ago.
[Last edited by ctcarol - Mar 7, 2019 9:49 PM (+)]
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