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Rose Pogonia Flowering

rose begonia 049A0560

We are at the tail end of the flowering season for Rose Pogonia, (Pogonia ophioglossoides). Although it also has the common name Snakemouth Orchid, the species’ name, ophioglossoides, comes from the Greek word for snake (ophis) and tongue (glossa), referring to a perceived similarity to Adder’s Tongue Fern (Ophioglossum pusillum), rather than a snake’s mouth.

The petals of this exquisite orchid have a delicate fragrance when fresh, reminiscent of red raspberries. The lower petal, or labellum, is deeply fringed and bearded in the center with yellow bristles. Rose Pogonia grows to a height of about two feet, and there is a single narrow leaf near the middle of its stem. Look for it in sphagnum bogs, fens, wet meadows, and acidic swamps. Although Rose Pogonia is pollinated by a number of different species of bumble bees, a white crab spider on the labellum looks like it has captured a much smaller insect that was visiting this particular flower.

NOTE: Sadie and I are overcome by the incredible generosity of Naturally Curious readers. Truly, there are not words to express the gratitude we have for each and every one of you. You feel like our extended family. A thousand thanks from Sadie, Otis and me. You have touched our hearts deeply.

Naturally Curious is the embodiment of my passion for learning and teaching about natural history.  If and when the spirit moves you to support my tiny contribution to your day, you can donate to a fund that was set up to support my recently-widowed daughter Sadie and her two-year-old, Otis.  If you choose to contribute, you may go to https://www.plumfund.com/financial-hardship/sadie-brown-otis-brown-fund . Thank you so much to those of you who have so generously done so.

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9 responses

  1. Marilyn

    Such a beautiful flower! Perhaps the Bangor Bog would have one.

    July 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    Wonderful to have a new post from you, Mary, with such a gorgeous flower. Crab spiders are interesting to watch. It is heartwarming, what can happen, when people care! Otis is a cutie. Wishing you all to be surrounded by ❤️❤️❤️

    July 27, 2017 at 8:14 am

  3. Amy and Michael Robinson

    Dear Mary, We are indeed so sorry for the sudden death of your son-in-law and the grieving that must engulf your daughter, grandson, and you. We would like to send a check to your daughter’s fund. Since we will contribute our small amount by check, could you please send us a street address to which we can mail our donation.

    Thank you, and may your family find healing and good memories to sustain all of you at this time. With deepest sympathy, Amy&Mike Robinson

    July 27, 2017 at 8:20 am

    • Hi Amy and Mike,
      Several people have inquired about sending a check vs. donating online. I am so grateful for your generosity. I will make sure your check reaches Sadie. My address is 134 Densmore Hill Road, Windsor, VT 05089. Thank you so much.

      July 27, 2017 at 9:52 am

  4. C Tate

    Dear Mary, i am so sorry for your great loss. All love to you, Sadie and Otis. Thank you for your beautiful post today and always.

    July 27, 2017 at 10:23 am

  5. Lucy Hull

    Mary, thank you for this lovely post. It’s particularly poignant knowing what you are dealing with at both of your homes. How utterly heartbreaking. Otis is a lucky boy to have you as his grandmother. Please know that in the times when you can’t post we all understand. Sending lots of love from mid-coast Maine.

    July 27, 2017 at 10:30 am

  6. Kathie Fiveash

    Here on Isle au Haut, we have had an incredible year for rose pogonia. Our bogs have been carpeted with an abundance of this beautiful orchid, rising among the pitcher plant flowers, the red mat of sundews, and the occasional grass pink. From now forward I will always think of you and your family when I see this flower. Much love goes out to all of you from me.

    July 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm

  7. Jo

    A friend told me that a couple of weeks he ago he saw a lot of these up at Chickering bog, plus some other unusual ones with lots of pitcher plants, then saw others last week at Quincy Bog.

    July 27, 2017 at 2:13 pm

  8. Sue Wetmore

    These lovely orchids have been found in three places in Rutland County.
    Each spot had at least 50 plants.

    July 27, 2017 at 9:05 pm

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