Pogonia ophioglossoides (Rose Pogonia)
|Also known as:||Snake-mouth Orchid, Adder's-mouth Pogonia|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; coniferous bogs, swamps, peatlands, wet meadows, open woods|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||6 to 18 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Delicate single (rarely 2) irregular rose to hot pink flower 1 to 2 inches across atop a slender stalk. Sepals are petal-like, an upper sepal stands erect at the top, 2 petals—sometimes with darker pink veination—form a hood above, 2 lateral sepals open out to the sides. The lavish lower lip is unlobed but ornate with pink fringes and a yellow and white bearded throat. A leaf-like bract is at the base of the ovary behind the flower.
Leaves and stem:
A single leaf, typically about halfway up stem, 1½ to 4 inches long, up to ¾ inch wide, elliptical with a pointed tip, sheathing the smooth stem. Sometimes a second, long-stalked leaf is at the base of the plant.
Fruit is an erect capsule up to 1 inch long.
A seductive snake's mouth indeed or just a toothy smile, this orchid's delightful appearance is always a cheerful event. It also keeps good companions.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Savanna Portage State Park, the Red Lake peatlands above Washkish, and the Okefenokee Swamp in Florida
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?