Pogonia ophioglossoides (L.) Ker Gawl. - Rose Pogonia

Pogonia ophioglossoides plant

Family - Orchidaceae

Stems - Solitary from short rhizomes, erect, herbaceous, to 30cm tall, terete, glabrous, purplish at the base, simple.

Leaves - Typically one per stem, sometimes two, sheathing at the base, sessile, alternate, oblanceolate to elliptic, acute, entire, the lowest to +/-7cm long, +/-2.5cm broad, glabrous, with 3 main veins expressed below.

Pogonia ophioglossoides leaf

Inflorescence - Single flower terminating the stem, mostly sessile, subtended by a foliaceous bract.

Flowers - Floral tube green, glabrous, ribbed (6), 2cm long, +/-3mm in diameter. Petals and sepals pink, mostly alike except for the lower petal, to 2.5cm long, narrowly elliptic. Lower lip with lacerate margins, bearded, with darker purple stripes, to 2.5cm long, 1cm broad, broadest at the apex. The beard yellowish and resembling stamens. Column to 1cm long, glabrous. Pollinia tucked under the front of the column and facing the rear of the flower.

Pogonia ophioglossoides flower

Pogonia ophioglossoides flower

Flowering - June - July.

Habitat - Fens.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This striking little orchid is exceedingly rare in Missouri, being found in only two locations. The plant is fen obligate and does not seem to compete well with larger more aggressive plants. Because of this, fire seems to help the plant become more established. As fire finds its way back into forest management, this species could be found in more areas of the state.

Photographs taken near Stegal Mountain, Shannon County, MO., 6-21-03.


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