Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

8/2/10

An Orchid a Day Keeps the Blues at Bay

White Rein Orchid

The White or Sierra Rein Orchid (Platanthera (syn. Habenaria) Dilatata) is such a treat to see in the wild. They have brilliant white flowers that easily catch your eye. Since they belong to the Orchid family, the flowers are very complex and distinctive. The upper petals and sepal are fused to form a sort of hood. The two lower sepals shoot out to each side and one large petal tappers strait down from the middle. Another distinctive feature of the Rein Orchid is a large spur that hangs down from the bottom petal--you can see it in several of the pictures, especially if you click on them to enlarge them.

Flowers of the Rein Orchid

Rein Orchid with Indian Paintbrush

The White Rein Orchid is a monocot, meaning their major leaf veins run parallel to each other often looking grass-like, the flower parts are in multiples of three and their embryos have a single cotyledon. There are other characteristics that define monocots, but these are the big three most people think of.

Rein Orchid leaves

The Rein Orchid likes to grow in moist meadow areas and along creek banks. I found these along the Thomas Creek trail, just inside the wilderness boundary where the water has spread out and the trail becomes a bit muddy.

2 comments:

Margery said...

What delicate, beautiful flowers. They look like something you could buy in a flower shop! Love, Mom

danwinnemucca said...

They are so pretty! Lucky girl.