Sunday, July 04, 2010

Bruce Peninsula orchids

I finally made it up to the Bruce Peninsula over the summer solstice weekend in June. As I suspected, it was a little too late to see the yellow ladyslippers in full bloom. They usually peak at the end of May during the Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival. However, I was lucky enough to find one still in partial bloom. I was up on the Bruce for the orchid festival back in 2008, and it was like orchid heaven in terms of the yellow ladyslippers in bloom everywhere!

I still managed to spot five different species of orchids on this last trip, and that was without much effort at all, in fact, all within the campground we were staying at! Sightings included more helleborines (Epipactis helleborine) than I could count (not yet in bloom), a few patches of Goodyera oblongifolia (not yet in bloom), patches of Striped coralroot (Corallorhiza striata, almost finished blooming), one solitary Alaska orchid (Piperia unalascensis, flowers not yet open), and one Yellow ladyslipper (Cypripedium calceolus, never sure if it's the large or small variety, but apparently the large variety (pubescens) come into bloom earlier than the small variety (parviflorum)).

I used the orchid checklist for the area as well as the very useful A guide to the orchids of the Bruce and Grey Counties, Ontario for identifications. Unfortunately, I left my Bruce orchid field guide at home that weekend, but I've looked up the orchids I saw and the only one I'm not sure about is the Alaska orchid.

Happy summer orchid hunting!