Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Green in Winter: Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

Goodyera pubescens: The basal rosette of this attractive orchid is a good thing to look for on winter hikes. It grows in a variety of forest types, but is especially at home on a sandy substrate among rotting oak leaves. One unusual place to find it is in conifer plantations that are so thick that very little light reaches the forest floor. This, along with the allelopathic effect of a thick bed of rotting needles, ensures that very few herbaceous plants are able to live there. White flowers open in early to mid summer in northern Indiana. Dried and empty seed capsules remain into the following year.

3 comments:

Pete said...

I recognize this very plant.

Pete said...
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Keith said...

You've certainly been to that very spot, Pete. Thanks for not stepping on it!