ghost orchid

Grass Pink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus)

Part of the Florida's Native and Naturalized Orchids Website

Classification:
  Kingdom:   Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom:   Tracheobionta - Vascular Plants
      Superdivision:   Spermatophyta - Seed plants
        Division:   Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
          Class:   Liliopsida - Monocotyledons
            Subclass:   Liliidae - Subclass containing lily and orchid relatives
              Order:   Orchidales - Orchid order
                Family:   Orchidaceae - Orchid Family
                  Subfamily:   Epidendroideae -
                    Tribe:   Arethuseae - Arethusoids
                      Subtribe:   Bletiinae - Bletia and related


Distribution Map:
Distribution map for Grass Pink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus)
Description:
Synonyms: Limodorum tuberosum Linnaeus 1753. Limodorum pulchellum Salisbury 1796, nom. illegit. Bletia tuberosa (Linnaeus) Ames, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 45: 1. 1932. Calopogon pulchellus R. Brown, in Aiton f., Hortus Kew. 5: 204. 1813, nom. illegit.

Summary: Terrestrial orchid bearing one to four grasslike leaves. Flowers range in color from pink to white, approximately 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8cm) across and open semi-sequentially on a raceme that may bear up to 10 flowers on a robust plant.

Common Name: Grass Pink Orchid

Habitat: Moist, open pinelands, wet prairies, wet roadsides.

Flowering season: March through May (peaking in May)

Images:
 
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) in flower.
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) in flower.
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Entire Spike
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Entire Spike
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Light Pink Form
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Light Pink Form
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Light Pink Form
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Light Pink Form
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Typical Form
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Typical Form
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink) - Dark Pink Flower
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink) - Dark Pink Flower
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Semi-alba Form.
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Semi-alba Form.
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Alba form
Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid) - Alba form
Grass Pink (Calopogon tuberosus) - Flowers on a Roadside
Grass Pink (Calopogon tuberosus) - Flowers on a Roadside
Grass Pink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus) fma. alba
Grass Pink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus) fma. alba

Description:
 

This is one of the most far-ranging species of North American orchids, north-to-south, growing as far south as the Everglades and as far north as southern Canada.

In the spring (and into summer in northern regions), these orchids grace the wet boglands with their brilliant pink 1.5-inch (3.75 cm) flowers. The plant consists of a small, whitish subterranen corm giving rise to a single plicate, grass-like leaf (sometimes more than one leaf in var. simpsonii) which clasps basally the flowering stem, capped with one to ten flowers. The flowers use a unique mechanism to achieve pollination. Mid-way up the lip, they bear a tuft of orange-yellow hairs that resembles the pistils and stamens of typical bogland flowers, while the base of the lip is jointed. The pollinators, deceived by this ruse, land on this tuft, their weight triggering the lip to flex downward along its joint and to drop them onto the column arching below. Flower color can occasionally range to light pink or even white.

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