On the most humid day of the year, the most delicate — by far — superb little flower of the year

After the coolness of King’s library, Wegman’s, etc. today’s humidity felt like it rang the bell as the most humid day of the year. The rain was a relief when it came (I always carry one of my handy 99 cent emergench ponchos) and I got this neat plastic cover for the camera that even has a flap over the lens that you can open and close). Right before the rain came across this little sweetie, never seen it before. Looked SO much like a tiny ragged robin and tiny, tiny, tiny, miterwort tiny, BB tiny, but so filigreed and perfect in its seeming imperfection.ragged orchis

Three guides give it three different names but all at least agree on the ragged part, so let’s go with green ragged orchis.

Platanthera lacera, also known as the Ragged Fringed Orchid, is widely distributed across central and eastern Canada and the U.S., from Manitoba to Georgia. It produces 1-5 leaves along its stem and bears an inflorescence of up to 60 yellowish green or whitish flowers. Its labellum is distinctive: it is deeply divided into three lobes, each of which is heavily fringed. A club-shaped spur extends from behind the flower. It can be distinguished from P. leucophaea by the relative length of its spur, which is shorter than or equal to the length of its ovary. Primarily a wetland species, it can be found in bogs, swampy woodlands, moist meadows, and along roadsides and riverbanks. It is known to form natural hybrids with P. grandiflora, named P. × keenanii, and with P. psycodes, named P. × andrewsii.

P. lacera is considered globally secure, although it is considered vulnerable in several eastern states and provinces.

Pollination

This orchid is pollinated by many kinds of moths including, Anagrapha falcifera, Allagrapha aerea and Hemaris thysbe. The moths have been observed visiting the older flowers at the bottom of the inflorescence and working up toward the younger flowers at the top, probing each flower’s nectar spur with their proboscis. Typically, the pollinaria attach to the proboscis and pollinaria from multiple flowers can be attached at a single time