On June 9th I posted two local wild orchids: the fairy slipper and the lady’s slipper. Each stalk had but one flower. Here are two more local wild orchids, but here the stalks contain many flowers: they are racemes.
Each of the today’s two wild flowers is a coral root characterized by the coral-like appearance of the underground rhizome. There are three species of this type of orchid around the lake. These two were found in Kokanee Creek Park (as were the slippers posted earlier).
This small plant is a spotted coral root. The growth of the flowers from the bottom to the top of the stalk is obvious in this shot. The top three flowers are about to come out.
This picture shows two stalks of the striped coral root orchid with a few of the flowers in the two racemes.
As a boy growing up in the 1940’s in Trinity Valley I was introduced to the dainty lady’s slipper. Occasionally finding one or two of them beside a forest path always gave me a certain thrill. Learning seventy-five years later that they were members of a large family of wild orchids makes me wonder about how much I missed or whether at 2500 – 2600 feet above sea level the lady’s slipper was the only variety to be found there. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thank you, Alistair, for your drawing my attention to this post. I had already read it with interest. It is part of the reason I realized how much I may have missed as a boy. I am still wondering whether elevation may be a factor in where the individual varieties of wild orchids may be found. From what I remember it was thought that the elevation where we lived in Trinity Valley was about 2100 feet above sea level which is a little higher than the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. I no longer have my charts but I seem to remeber that the landing strip at Nelson is about 1755 feet above sea level. The difference may be too small to be of any consequence. I am still wondering whether the different varieties of wild orchids are sensitive to differences in elevation. I would appreciate your help in this matter. Thank you very much.