Nov. 14, 2019

clubspur orchid, Platanthera clavellata

Most of the Platantheras in the photo album have showy, sometimes fringed flowers. They are not typical. Many more in this genus have small greenish flowers that are not so quick to catch our eye. Or in this case, the eyes of pollinators. Clubspur is self pollinating. We know it's rarely visited by successful pollinators only because hybrid plants have been collected. Twice. Two hybrid individuals hardly make a trend. Flowers with long spurs like these usually attract long-tongued pollinators. Clubspur's ancestors probably did that, but now the spurs seem to be an atavism. Clubspur grows in damp areas that are usually at least a little acidic in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL(E), GA, IA, IL(E), IN(W), KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NY(V), OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, and on SPM. Dolly Sods Wilderness, Pendleton Co WV, 7/16/15.