...to find that orchid to photograph. In this case, our travels took us into southern Georgia to find Platanthera nivea in flower. The Florida localities that I tried came up empty, but it seems that these are running a little late this year.
Over the next few blog posts, I will be featuring the royal family of the Floridian bog orchids, the Platantheras, many of which are in bloom around this time of year. As far as showiness and gaudiness, there is arguably none other like this group to grace our fair state. Frequent inhabitants of wet roadsides bordering wet pinelands, these plants are hard to miss when bloom time and drive time coincide--even if the driver is careening down the road at highway speeds.
So, let us enter the court of these lovely kings, queens, princes, and princesses and admire them for their beauty, their sheer ostentatiousness, as they grace the bogs with their royal presence...
First on our list is the delicate princess, Platanthera nivea, emerging one-to-two months before her more stately kin. Her delicate spikes of snowy-white flowers gleam with crystalline beauty in the sunny, wet meadows and moist pinelands where she makes her home. Plants are usually less than 18 inches tall (45.7 cm) with a three-inch (5 cm) flower head. Unlike many of her kindred, the flowers are presented with their unfringed lips held uppermost and bear an unmistakable fragrance--not unlike that of citrus blossoms.
You can read more about this species (and see more photos) at the newly revised FLNativeOrchids.com Snowy Orchid page below :
I am a software engineer based in the metro Orlando area. On weekends, you will often find me in the field with my family photographing Florida's native orchids. I also give lectures on these orchids at many orchid, garden, and native plant societies. I am also an avid fossil hunter.