CT RG P
Soil: Acidic, Sandy Loam
Moisture: Moist to Seasonally Wet
Light: Full Sun
Plant Height: 1 to 2 feet
Landscape Value: Great in wet meadows maintained by annual fall mowings. Good for mass planting in bog/butterfly gardens, rain gardens, and naturalized areas. Can be grown in pots using a bog orchid soil mix.
A large and very showy orchid! Stems with two – four lower leaves terminate in large clusters of long-lived deep orange to gold/yellow flowers that bloom in late summer. Flowers have drooping, deeply-fringed lip petals and long, cylindrical spurs that curve downward behind the flowers. Pollinated by butterflies, especially swallowtails. Typical of orchids, the roots have a mycorrhizal relationship with a fungus that assist the plant in acquiring moisture and nutrients, while the plant provides products of photosynthesis to feed the fungus. Seeds contain little nutrients and require soil fungi to establish. Grows in small colonies. Tolerates light shade, but will flower less. Sensitive to trampling, soil compaction, and late spring frosts. In gardens, mulch with 4+” of pine needles in the fall and leave 1” of pine needles after spring cleanup. Best watered with rain/distilled water as plants are sensitive to mineral buildup.
Considered a threatened species in CT due to over collection, picking flowers from the wild, water table fluctuations, and loss of open habitat as a result of natural succession and competition from woody vegetation due to land use changes and fire suppression.
1 quart pot