Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa)
Part of the Florida's Native and Naturalized Orchids WebsiteClassification:
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: Spiranthoideae - Spiranthoids
Tribe: Cranichideae - Cranichids
Subtribe: Cranichidinae - Cranichid subtribe
Summary: Plants with an evergreen basal rosette of glossy, green leaves. Flowering stems to 14 inches (35.5 cm) tall. Flowers around 1cm across, cream with green striping, oriented nearly parallel to the ground.
Common Name: Shadow Witch Orchid
Habitat: Swamps and moist woodlands.
Flowering season: October through December (peaking in November)
Late fall in north and central Florida usually does not have much to offer orchid-wise...most terrestrials are wrapping up for the year, storing whatever they can in their underground portions prior to the first below-freezing night, which usually does the above-ground parts in.
Starting in October in northern Florida, and wrapping up in December in southern Florida, this woodland species comes into its own during this otherwise sparse time
The evergreen basal rosettes of leaves grow in rather swampy areas, and are all that is seen of this plant except during blooming. Plants reproduce vegetatively via runners, as well as sexually via flowers and seeds and can form extensive colonies over time. The flowers of P. racemosa are pleasantly fragrant, smelling faintly of citrus.
Another Spiranthine orchid, Spiranthes odorata, blooms at the same time as this species, and the two often share the same habitats
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