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Native Orchids of Minnesota

Native Orchids of Minnesota

Welby R. Smith
Vera Ming Wong
Bobbi Angell
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Native Orchids of Minnesota
    Book Description:

    Though often considered exotic and rare, orchids can be found across climates and continents—and Minnesota is no exception, with forty-nine wild orchids. Native Orchids of Minnesota features detailed drawings and color photographs that make reliable identification practical even for beginners—a guide and a resource for the serious naturalist, the weekend botanist, and the connoisseur of natural beauty.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8044-3
    Subjects: Botany & Plant Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Minnesota County Map
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)

    The scientific study of orchids is a highly technical pursuit, by which I mean serious botanists who study orchids study the fine details such as the interior workings of the flowers, the chemical processes of the cells, and the DNA that passes from generation to generation. That is how scientific advances are made, and that is the science on which this book is based. However, this book skips over most of that to get to the results that can be seen and used by the average person. I have tried my best to keep things simple and yet retain the...

  6. Frequently Asked Questions about Orchids
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  7. Key to the Genera of Orchids Found in Minnesota
    (pp. xxvii-xxxii)
  8. Genus Amerorchis Hultén
    (pp. 2-7)

    The genusAmerorchis, as defined by Hultén (1968), consists of a single species endemic to arctic and boreal regions of North America. It is a woodland orchid that grows from a slender, fleshy rhizome and has a single basal leaf with an inconspicuous petiole. The lip of the flower is deeply three-lobed and has a spur at the base.

    It was previously included in the large and often ill-defined genusOrchis, but it lacks the tubers of that genus. In fact, the nameAmerorchisdistinguishes it as an American version of the Old World genusOrchis. More recently, it has...

  9. Genera and Species Accounts

    • Genus Aplectrum Nutt.
      (pp. 8-13)

      The nameAplectrumis from the Greek word meaning “without spur” in reference to the flower. This is a small genus with just two species, one in Japan and one in eastern North America. It is closely related to the genusCorallorhiza, but the aerial stem arises from a roundish corm instead of a coralloid rhizome. Actually, the corm stage ofAplectrumis sometimes, perhaps routinely, preceded by a coralloid mass resembling the rhizome ofCorallorhiza(Correll 1950). Remnants of this coralloid stage are rarely if ever seen in mature plants.Aplectrumis otherwise distinguished fromCorallorhizaby the solitary...

    • Genus Arethusa L.
      (pp. 14-19)

      This genus is named after the river nymph of classical Greek mythology and consists of a single species (Arethusa bulbosa) endemic to boreal and north-temperate parts of eastern North America. A similar species (Eleorchis japonica) that may belong in the same genus occurs in Japan.

      Characteristics ofArethusainclude an underground corm that produces one stem bearing a single grass-like leaf and a solitary spurless flower.

      Plants 7–36 cm tall; stem arising from a bulbous corm; roots 2–4, slender, fleshy, 2–10 cm long. Leaf 1, linear-lanceolate, barely developed at anthesis, becoming as much as 18 cm long...

    • Genus Calopogon R. Br. (Grass-pinks)
      (pp. 20-29)

      Calopogonis a genus of five species endemic to North America, two in Minnesota, and is most closely related to the genusArethusa. The nameCalopogonis from a Greek word meaning “beautiful beard” in reference to the yellow-tipped bristles on the lip of the flower.

      AllCalopogonspecies share a similar pollination system, which is based on an elaborate deception (Pijl and Dodson 1966; Thien and Marcks 1972; Stoutamire 1971). It begins when a bee senses the yellow-tipped bristles that are prominently displayed on the upright lip of the flower. Thinking it has found an offering of pollen, the...

    • Genus Calypso Salisb.
      (pp. 30-35)

      The nameCalypsohonors the mythical sea nymph of Homer’sOdysseyand means “hiding” or “concealment.” It is a distinctive genus, containing a single circumboreal species with a complicated taxonomy.

      The intricate flower ofCalypsoproduces no nectar and has no scent; the attraction for pollinators is purely visual. In Minnesota, the spring flowering period is synchronized with the emergence of its pollinators, large bumblebee queens. The queens forage close to the ground and encounterCalypsoflowers head-on. Newly emerged bumblebees are naïve and will investigate anything that seems to offer food, either pollen or nectar. Individual bees rapidly learn...

    • Genus Coeloglossum Hartm.
      (pp. 36-41)

      The nameCoeloglossumcomes from the Greek words meaning “hollow tongue,” an interesting reference to the shape of the spur, which is a short, roundish, pouch-shaped structure protruding from the base of the lip.

      The genus consists of a single, highly variable circumpolar species,Coeloglossum viride, occurring across a broad swath of North America and Eurasia. It has confounded taxonomists who have attempted to describe meaningful varieties within the species for more than two hundred years and will likely continue to do so for some time to come. However, the plants that occur in Minnesota appear to be relatively uniform...

    • Genus Corallorhiza Gagnebin (Coral-roots)
      (pp. 42-63)

      The nameCorallorhizacomes from the Greek words meaning “coral root” in reference to the appearance of the branching underground rhizome. It is a small genus of eleven species closely related toAplectrum. Except for a single circumboreal species (C.trifida), the coral-roots are restricted to North and Central America, with seven species in the United States and four species in Minnesota (Freudenstein 1997).

      All coral-roots are leafless, rootless parasites of soil fungi, noted for their general lack of green color and their coral-like rhizomes. Nearly all species have striking color variations that can occur unpredictably in colonies of normal-colored...

    • Genus Cypripedium L. (Lady’s-slippers)
      (pp. 64-91)

      The nameCypripediumis from the Greek meaning “Aphrodite’s shoe” or “Venus’s slipper,” in reference to the inflated, slipper-like shape of the lip. There are about forty-five species ofCypripedium, primarily in temperate regions of Eurasia and North America (Sheviak 2002a). More than half of the species occur in eastern Asia and Siberia, twelve species occur in North America, and one occurs in western Europe (Stoutamire 1967).

      The flowers of allCypripediumhave a lip that is in the shape of a pouch with an obvious opening on the top—obvious, at least, to the insects that pollinate them. The...

    • Genus Epipactis Zinn Helleborine
      (pp. 92-97)

      Epipactisis the ancient Greek name used by Theophrastus for an unknown plant that was used to curdle milk. In 1757, Zinn adopted the name for this genus, which now encompasses about twenty-five species, mainly Eurasian. AllEpipactishave leafy stems that grow from perennial rhizomes. One species is native to North America and two are naturalized (Brown and Argus 2002).

      The only native North American species is giant helleborine (E. gigantea), which is found in marshes and streamside habitats in the western third of the United States. There is very little chance it will ever be found in Minnesota....

    • Genus Galearis Raf. Showy orchis
      (pp. 98-103)

      The nameGalearisis from the Latin word meaning “helmet,” in reference to the helmetlike structure formed by the sepals and petals.

      Galearisis a small genus containing only two species, one in North America and one in east Asia (Sheviak and Catling 2002d). It has been proposed that the genus be expanded to include the genusAmerorchis, which contains a single species, A.rotundifolia. This proposal is based on evidence derived from nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences (Bateman et al. 2009).

      Plants 8–25 cm tall; stem smooth and rather stout, distinctly angled in cross section; tuber...

    • Genus Goodyera R. Br. (Rattlesnake-plantains)
      (pp. 104-117)

      Species in the genusGoodyera, named for John Goodyer (1592–1664), an English botanist, are clonal perennials with basal rosettes of evergreen leaves and a spicate inflorescence of small white flowers. The leaves are variously marked with white or pale-green tissue along the veins, forming a reticulate or checkered pattern, which is distinctive toGoodyera. There are no other wildflowers in Minnesota with a similar leaf pattern.Goodyeraalso have the distinction of being the only north-temperate orchids that are evergreen (Stoutamire 1974), meaning the leaves survive for at least one full year. Leaves ofCalypsoandAplectrumare considered...

    • Genus Liparis Rich. (Twayblade orchids)
      (pp. 118-127)

      The nameLiparisis from the Greek word variously translated as “fat,” “greasy,” or “shining,” in reference to the appearance of the leaves. There are about 250 species ofLiparisdistributed in tropical and temperate regions worldwide, with 3 species in the United States and 2 species in Minnesota (Magrath 2002).

      Liparisis most closely related toMalaxis; both regenerate each spring from an annual pseudobulb produced at the base of the stem. The pseudobulb is an ovoid structure found just beneath the substrate, or sometimes partially exposed at the surface. It is enveloped in the base of the lowest...

    • Genus Listera R. Br. (Twayblades)
      (pp. 128-141)

      The nameListerais in honor of Martin Lister (1638–1711), an English naturalist. This is a genus of about twenty-five species that occur in temperate and boreal habitats worldwide. There are eight species in the United States and three in Minnesota (Magrath and Coleman 2002). These are small orchids with a single pair of broad, opposite leaves that attach near the midpoint of the plant. The individual flowers are also quite small and have a two-lobed or forked lip.

      Each year a single aerial stem and two to five slender roots are produced at the tip of a short,...

    • Genus Malaxis Solander ex Swartz (Adder’s-mouth orchids)
      (pp. 142-155)

      The nameMalaxisis from the Greek word for “soft” or “delicate,” perhaps in reference to the leaves. There are about 250 species ofMalaxisworldwide; 10 species occur in the United States and 3 in Minnesota (Catling and Magrath 2002).

      A taxonomic concept that would return two of our species (M.monophyllosvar.brachypodaand M.unifolia) to the genusMicrostylishas been recently published (Szlachetko and Margońska 2006) but is not followed here. More exhaustive study of this large and complex group of plants is needed.

      Orchids of the genusMalaxistypically have inconspicuous greenish flowers with nectar...

    • Genus Platanthera Rich. (Bog-orchids or rein-orchids)
      (pp. 156-203)

      As interpreted by Sheviak (2002b), there are about two hundred species ofPlatantherain the world, primarily in north temperate regions of both Eastern and Western Hemispheres. This includes thirty-two species in North America and eleven species in Minnesota.

      The namePlatantherais from the Greek words for “wide anther,” a morphological feature of the genus. However, no single characteristic will confi rm you have found aPlatanthera. They are, relatively speaking, large- or medium-size orchids with leafy stems and a terminal “spike” with multiple flowers, each flower with a slender spur extending downward from the back of the flower....

    • Genus Pogonia Juss.
      (pp. 204-209)

      The namePogoniais from the Greek word meaning “bearded,” in reference to the bristles on the upper surface of the floral lip. Two of the three species occur in East Asia and the other in North America (Sheviak and Catling 2002a).

      Pogoniais one of three Minnesota orchid genera that have pink flowers with a conspicuous crest of short fleshy bristles on the lip. The other two genera areArethusaandCalopogon. According to Thien and Marcks (1972), the bristles of all three genera exhibit strong absorption of ultraviolet light. This is the wavelength of light that insect pollinators...

    • Genus Spiranthes Rich. (Ladies’-tresses orchids)
      (pp. 210-237)

      The nameSpiranthesis from the Greek words meaning “coiled flowers,” in apparent reference to the spiraled arrangement of the flowers.

      The genus has undergone many taxonomic changes, and as now construed it contains forty-five species (Sheviak and Brown 2002). Representatives ofSpiranthesare found in North America, South America, Eurasia, and Australia, with twenty-three species in the United States and five in Minnesota.

      Spirantheshave no corm, bulb, or obvious rhizome belowground. The stem appears to arise directly from the top of a cluster of rather stout, fleshy roots. The roots seem to function as food storage organs much...

  10. Phenology of Minnesota Orchids
    (pp. 238-239)
  11. Glossary
    (pp. 240-246)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 247-251)
  13. Index
    (pp. 252-254)