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Author Topic: Three Birds Orchid  (Read 2337 times)
Scott
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« on: August 15, 2008, 08:49:37 PM »

On two days this week I've counted 460 stems of thee birds orchid (Triphora trianthophora) at Pickett's Mill Historic Site as a part of our BotSoc survey of the park. As of Thursday afternoon, all of the flowers were in subhorizontal bud and who knows when they'll be upright and gorgeous. There are a lot of them however.

If any go out in the next few days, please let me know what you find. If you are interested, contact me at scottranger@comcast.net. This is a fragile place, an extremely elusive orchid and its only known location in the Piedmont.

Scott
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Scott
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 09:11:56 AM »

The little orchids have now finished their flowering for this season. The peak day was last Saturday. Thursday no flowers were open or upright and many fruits were developing.

The biology of this species isn't known very well. Most of the literature on it is simply speculation and there has been little science involved. This should change soon, as yesterday Matt Richards, an orchid specialist at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, was with us and will be returning when the capsules are ripe to collect seed. He'll then attempt to propogate them by themselves as well as with some fungi. He'll make fungus traps to return to the site and attempt to get the seeds and fungus to grow together for identification of the fungus.

So much has been made about "synchronicity" of this species and my observations lead me to the conclusion that this is overblown. Evidence I see shows that this flower is capable of and frequently self-pollinates. We have much more to learn.

Scott
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