From a distance, they look like delicate fallen dragon and damselflies littering a field of tall grasses. Upon closer inspection, the geometrically arranged leaves and the fringed beard, the Rose Pogonia Orchid emerges.
This flower usually has only 1 flower on an erect, slender stem. It is rose or pink-colored and, unlike most orchids, has a nice fragrance. The lower lip is densely bearded near the throat with white to yellow bristles. There is 1 leaf near the middle of the stem. This wild orchid is found in very wet areas where sun is prominent.
Other common names are: Rose Pogonia, Snake-mouth Orchid, Beard Flower.
Finding this native flower was a real treat, as non-native species move in and push out our native flowers, flowers like these are becoming rarer and rarer to find. As of 2016 the 'Snake-mouth Orchid' is on the USDA's threatened/endangered list as 'Threatened'.
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Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who spends her time exploring and learning about the unique history and nature in North East Ohio. She lives with her husband and cat in Wooster where she is also a family portrait and nature photographer as well as grows and cans her own vegetables. When she's not doing that, yoga and embroidery (not at the same time) are other things she enjoys.