Showy Orchis

One of our friends has sent the prettiest photos of Showy Orchis, also known as Showy Orchid, Galearis spectabilis.

Showy Orchid

Like the Pink Lady’s Slipper, this is another spring bloomer in the orchid family that is found growing in our deciduous woods. Have you noticed we keep featuring ‘spring’ blooming wildflowers? Ms. Flora is pushing us to get them all on the blog because they really do only bloom while the tree leaves aren’t fully furled out. Waaaay down on the ground these plants can’t get the sunlight they need, so they put all their energy into their flowers right away, while they can. They require rich soil and supposedly can’t compete with too many other plants, though this lot seem to have plenty of company.

So back to our Showy Orchis. That’s quite a white tongue this flower has. Oops, Ms. Flora is chittering at me…it’s a bumblebee landing pad.

Showy Orchis

Now Hickory is snickering, and Ms. Flora is narrowing her dark eyes at us both. Sigh. So really, those big bumblebees to need a lot of space to land, and the flower provides it. Just like with the Pink Lady’s Slipper, the bumblebee has to squeeze into that tight hood to get his nectar and in return passes pollen from flower to flower.

I wouldn’t want to be a bee. They have more jobs heaped on them than we squirrels do!