Oct. 7, 2017

October ladies'-tresses, Spiranthes ovalis

Last Saturday, the Ives Preserve volunteer crew hosted an ecology class from the University of Michigan. They toured and learned about the fen. They then spent the rest of their time cutting invasive shrubs, mostly honeysuckle that's springing up from its seed bank. One student wanted some garlic mustard samples, and I went looking for some. I failed, which was a really good result when you're looking for an invasive plant. But I found number 800! We had been stuck for some time on number 799 on our list of plants found in the preserve. October ladies'-tresses was a real treat for 800. It is threatened, and is one of the rarest orchids in the Great Lakes basin. These flowers are only 3/16 inch long. This ladies'-tresses grows in woods in AL, AR, FL(E), GA, IA(T), IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI(T), MO, MS, NC, OH, OK, PA(E), SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, and ON. I had to wait a few days to see open flowers, since it wasn't October yet.
Taken on 10/6/17.
Go Blue! Beat MSU!