Tuesday, July 14, 2009


On the recent hiking trip in the mountains of West Virginia we were on a focused walk to the end of a short trail that would bring us to a rock outcropping providing a view of one of the valleys in Pocahontas County, the valley where Pearl S. Buck's birth home now stands. We almost missed the wild orchid in the photo below. It which was just to the side of the path and we could have raced by missing it in our determination to reach our destination. Wild orchids are rare in this area and struggle with habitat destruction as they are not the dominant plant in any area.

I tried hard to identify this one, and while I think I was close, my botanical knowledge (or lack thereof) has taught me that I should not try to identify either orchids or mushrooms! Any experts in this area are free to chime in.

These same orchids were growing throughout the woods near the trail, but only one was blooming. What a rare find! The (second orchid) blossom below was found in the sunnier area of the Cranberry Glades which is the largest bog area in West Virginia and a rare ecosystem giving us a little bit of Canada close to where I live. I think it is also an orchid, perhaps the "common" grass pink orchid. Certainly not common in my experience.


Barry said...

Well at least you know they're orchards and stopped to notice them. I tend to rush on down the trail to get to that next view, only to have Linda ask what I thought about the various sights along with way, which I hadn't noticed.

Hilary said...

So nice that you noticed.... and shared.

Chancy said...

How lovely and such a delight to find a treasure you were not looking for.

"Serendipity "

Main Entry: ser·en·dip·i·ty
Pronunciation: \-ˈdi-pə-tē\
Function: noun
Etymology: from its possession by the heroes of the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip
Date: 1754
: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.

Annie in Austin said...

Once or twice we've run into wild orchids when in some natural area or park - just being able to say it was an orchid made me feel vaguely triumphant - but identifying it was beyond me!
Wonder if Entangled knows...she's so good with Virginia wildflowers... I'll go ask her.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Entangled said...

Annie flatters me, but I think the first orchid could be Platanthera orbiculata. While looking for more information about it, I found a web page saying it was observed in Pocahontas Co. in 2008: http://www.wvnps.org/NNaugust2008.htm

The second one does indeed look like grass pink (Calopogon tuberosus).

I've never seen either one of these in person, just looking at photos.