SUMNER – This is the week to look for the large purple fringed orchid. This wildflower is found in wetlands in Maine and throughout the Northeast.

A rare and endangered native plant, it is on the protected list in most states.

The orchid depends on the fungi in forest soil to help it absorb nutrients in early life and is found in bogs in shaded woods in midsummer.

The Platanthera grandiflora is a perennial plant which continues to grow two years or more with or without losing its leaves in the winter.

The flower is rose-purple or lavender-pink and has as many as 125 one-inch flowers clustered in a cylinder at the top of a stalk.

It grows 2- to 4-feet tall. The lip is divided into three fringed-fan-shaped segments and is pollinated by butterflies by day and moths by night.

On the Net: http://www.chicagobotanic.org/


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