Putty Root

dec_natural_3

Putty Root is a type of orchid that is fairly common in the rich soil of our wooded stream bottoms. Unlike most plants that send out leaves in spring and are done with them in the fall, Putty Root sends up its leaves in the fall, and they remain until about the time the plants flower in the spring (May or June, usually when we’re too busy to take a walk in the woods and look for orchid flowers). In November 2014, we found some stalks with seedpods in an especially vigorous group of plants. Opening up a seedpod provides a view of the prolific quantity of tiny seeds.

Lily Twayblade

This pretty orchid blooms in late May to early June in one small patch along the path from the packing barn to the produce field. This is the only place we’ve seen it, and not necessarily a place we’d expect to see an orchid. It is in a dense cedar thicket with few other wildflowers in one of the most historically eroded/abused parts of the farm. Deep gullies (that we speculate were the result of a past hog lot) neighbor it on two sides, but this orchid persists, and we enjoy seeing it.

bio_lily_twayblade

A closeup of the flower:

bio_lily_twayblade_closeup