Thursday, August 23, 2007

Arare Orchid Called Chapman's Orchid found in Silsbee, Texas

Chapman's orchid has been found on The Nature Conservancy's Roy E. Larsen
Sandyland Sanctuary... near Silsbee.

The orchid is bright yellow orange in color, with multiple blooms densely
packed on a narrow stem. The flower is pollinated by large butterflies,
including swallowtails.The Chapman's orchid has been found in only three
counties in Texas, including Hardin, Orange and Tyler. It also grows in
southeastern Georgia and northern Florida.

The orchid is found in wet areas of sphagnum moss and acidic soils within
longleaf pine savannas. Nature Conservancy staff member Bob Boensch,
conservation forest technician, located the orchids in an area of the
preserve following a prescribed burn. Dense vegetation and debris from
Hurricane Rita has made finding plants such as the orchid a challenge.

Chapman's orchid was first described in 1903 when a specimen was collected
in Apalachicola, Florida, and was named after the collector, A.W. Chapman.
For many years, there was debate over whether the plant was a separate
species or a hybrid of two other similar-looking orchids. Based on its
pollination and studies of populations of the orchid, scientists determined
that the Chapman's orchid is a separate and unique species.

The wetland savannas where the orchid grows are considered among the most
threatened and rare plant communities in the entire state. Before East
Texas was densely settled, these savannas were kept open by frequent
natural fires and were lush with grasses, wildflowers and a scattering of
longleaf pine trees."



Steve Peralta


Prem said...

I have taken photos of this species in the field. You can see these here:

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