Sunday 18 July 2021

Some Algonquin Orchids

I have now been living and working in Algonquin Park for a little over a week. I have managed to get out a bunch to look for things, with one group in particular being of interest—orchids. 

There is a fen across the highway from the staff house which I have visited a couple of times. Clubspur Orchid (Platanthera clavellata) is quite abundant here. I photographed this on my first visit before the flowers really started to come out. 

There was a second species of Platanthera in the fen as well, Ragged Fringed Orchid (P. lacera), which was a new one for me. I only saw one plant on my initial visit, but on my second we found two.

We also made a trip to the east side of the park in search of Arrowhead Spiketail, a new species of dragonfly for the park that was found the week prior. We were very successful on all fronts with that trip as we found the spiketails (and a few other "park odes"), as well as some orchids, many of which are rare in the park, and all of them were new for me.

Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid (P. psycodes)

Green Adder's Mouth (Malaxis uniflora)

Auricled Twayblade (Neottia auriculata)

Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera tesselata)

I also saw another new species of orchid today while exploring the old airfield, Slender Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes lacera), but I haven't taken the photos off my camera yet (typing this on my phone using photos I downloaded from my iNaturalist observations!).

While it appears the peak of orchids may be behind us, I am sure there are still a few species out there waiting to be seen! 

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