Sunday, September 5, 2010

Michaux's Orchid (Habenaria quinqueseta)

Michaux's Orchid (Habenaria quinqueseta) is rather widespread in the state of Florida, being found in a large swathe of the peninsula and even a few panhandle counties. Its spidery white-green flowers emerge from this time of year in north-central Florida into wintertime in the southernmost counties. I had the privilege of photographing this orchid at a lovely couple's house in the Brooksville, Florida (Citrus County) area. While I was not able to be there to verify this in person, they described the flowers as having a night fragrance that strongly resembled magnolias.

Interestingly enough, as I was reading their e-mail describing the fragrance, another e-mail came in from someone who lived in the same general area asking me to identify her yard volunteer orchids. It turned out to be more of the same species growing not five miles from where I was photographing that day. Apparently, these orchids like to grow in people's yards in the Brooksville area. This makes me want to move to Brooksville.


The spidery flowers are the largest of the Habenarias in the US, spanning 1.5 to 2 inches (3.7 to 5cm) across.

A previous post to this blog showed Habenaria macroceratitis, which some consider as a variety of H. quinqueseta. Others maintain this to be a separate species, based on several characteristics, including the spur length (H. quinqueseta has a significantly shorter spur/nectary than H. macroceratitis)

You can read more about this species at the new information page at the Florida Native Orchid website:

>> Michaux's Orchid Information Page at www.flnativeorchids.com <<

I have also created an information page for H. macroceratitis:

>> Long-horned False Rein Orchid at www.flnativeorchids.com<<

Enjoy!
---Prem
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