Pennsylvania is home to 55 different species of orchids; 10 of these species have been spotted right here at Lacawac!
Orchids are very diverse flowers growing in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They also range in habitats from bogs, fields, forests, and even grow on trees,known as “air plants”.
Even though orchids are some of the most uniquely different flowers, all of them share common characteristics. They have bilateral symmetry meaning one side of the flower is exactly the same as the opposite. The sepals (found below the petals) grow before the petals unfold. They have two normal petals and a third petal called the “lip”. The lip petal gives the orchid its distinct shape.
Against the Odds
Orchids have a difficult time reproducing. They rely on the mycelium of fungi for nutrients and insects to carry the pollen. If reproduction does occur, the seeds grow slowly. In some species, this can take months. If the orchid does manage to reproduce, deer will most likely forage the fully grown flower. This is why it is so special to see one in the wild!