Amerorchis rotundifolia (Small Round-leaved Orchid)
|Also known as:||Round-leaved Orchis|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; coniferous swamps, peat bogs, fens|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||8 to 14 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A slender smooth raceme of 4 to 18 irregular flowers each ½ to ¾ inch wide and high, on the ends of ½ inch green ovaries with a single bract up to ¾ inch long. The upper lip is a pinkish hood. The lower lip is white with purple spots and 3-lobed, with the middle lobe largest and notched at the tip. 2 petal-like white sepals spread out at the sides with a third over the hood. A curving spur hangs down at the back. A very cheerful and merry clown-like flower with a pink hood, white drapped side arms and purple polka-dot pantaloons on.
Leaves and stem:
Fruit is an erect capsule, ½ to ¾ inch long.
An exciting wildflower to come upon, it is not so rare but its habitat is rarely visited. Common on the large peatlands of northwest and north-central Minnesota it is also a denizen of dark coniferous bogs of the NE. In some references, this species goes by synonym Galearis rotundifolia.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken on SNA lands in Cass County
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?