Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Gray's Manual of Botany, 8th Edition by M. L. Fernald

"Gray's Manual of Botany, 8th Edition... by M. L. Fernald... the "Botanical Bible"... lists 21 genera of the orchid family as growing wild in northeastern North America.

Among these there are about 50 species, varieties and forms known to be growing within the limits of the state of Wisconsin... at least 10 in La
Crosse County... two more in Monroe County. And, at least three of these have been seen growing along the La Crosse River Trail.
some orchids... are in bloom right now.

... some of our northern "terrestrial" members of the family are pretty spectacular. One genus of our group... is stuck with having small flowers
that just happen to be all white...

The genus... spiranthes, synthesized from a couple Greek words to indicate "spiral flowered." Its florets are often arranged around a vertical stem in
a spiral formation... Ladies' tresses is the English rendition of thename...
One such can be seen in thin woods in some areas during July.

This tribe of orchids seems to be very much at home amid the grasses that can be found under trees in thin, dry woods or near trees growing in the

our area... two species from this genus: nodding and slender ladies' tresses. A form that didn't fit the nodding description... was split out... and given the name Great Plains ladies' tresses"


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