1,295 Posts

the_buckeye_botanist The lilliputian world of bryophytes is one I easily get sucked into. Their intricate details, stunning architecture and unique life cycles make them fascinating organisms to study. Mosses, liverworts and hornworts don't behave in the same manner as the traditional vascular plants I work with but account for a significant chunk of Ohio's flora biodiversity with 500+ spp. known from our borders (400+ mosses, 130 liverworts and a few hornworts). They are a notoriously challenging and often times frustrating group to identify, especially to species but I find them fun and well worth my time nonetheless. Photographed here is one of my all-time favorite mosses, Climacium americanum. They're named tree mosses for their very unique dendroid-like appearance; each stem arising from a subterranean stolon that can create lush, dense carpets of its aesthetic gametophyte.

#Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaNature #InstaMoss #Moss #Bryophyte #Bryology #Gametophytes #TreeMoss #Climacium #Ecology #Botany #Botanizing #Evergreen #Hiking #Ohio #OhioNature #OhioBryology #ALGibson #TheBuckeyeBotanist
60min

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the_buckeye_botanist #TBT to one of the coolest plants I've ever seen and by far the best I've ever smelled. In fact, these beauties known as sweet pinesap or pygmy pipes (Monotropsis odorata) are often detected by the nose before the eyes. They are camouflage experts that blend in seamlessly with the substrate's fallen leaves and pine needle duff. The first time I ever saw this plant was along the rocky, xeric pine/oak ridge top forests of Kentucky's Red River Gorge. The patch photographed here caught my eye initially as an oddly shaped pine cone I didn't immediately recognize. It was only when I leaned down to inspect it that I noticed it was something else entirely. Sweet pinesap is reminiscent of cloves with a sweet twist to my olfactories and one of the best smells I've ever experienced; Yankee Candle ever finds a way to put it in wax and I'll buy them out of stock! The plant seemingly desires to hide its elegance and good looks behind the papery brown sepals and bracts that sheathe its majestic purple petals and stems. It really is a gorgeous plant on close inspection. Much like its other Monotropoideae brethren, pygmy pipes is a mycoheterotroph that relies on subterranean fungi for its carbon acquisition. It's an early spring bloomer and uncommon occurrence throughout its scattered distribution in the southern Appalachian plateaus.

#Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaFlower #InstaBotany #InstaNature #Botany #Botanizing #Wildflower #Mycoheterotroph #PygmyPipes #SweetPinesap #Monotropsis #Ericaceae #Acidic #Xeric #RedRiverGorge #Kentucky #WildKentucky #AppalachianPlateau #Geology #Hiking #ALGibson #TheBuckeyeBotanist
21h

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latshaj A very misty day at Laguna beach. Many plants used is the landscaping are all from Africa, mainly the Aloes and Strelitzia. Can't wait to get into the tide pools at some point this year. #lagunabeach #socal #California #pacific #nonnative #weeds #mist #botany #botanizing #exotic #elniño #coast #nature #Mediterranean #climate 5d

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bass_drum_dealer Either a yucca or agave, I'm not sure. #nature #explore #botany #botanizing 1w

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the_buckeye_botanist I'd like to end this fun and reflective week long #TributeToWildOrchids with one last collage. It's a collage that's been years in the making and finally became complete this past summer with the last missing piece filled in. Ohio is home to 47 indigenous species of wild orchid and it brings me a lot of joy to say I've seen and photographed all 47. Admittedly, due to some extirpated and extremely fickle/rare taxa, I haven't seen all within Ohio itself but a large majority were. A great deal of blood, sweat and tears; victories and defeats; amazing stories and once-in-a-lifetime moments went into this life goal and will hopefully be told in book form one day soon. I'd like to thank everyone for following along this week and I hope you enjoyed the ride! I've had a blast doing it and getting to reminisce on a great many amazing days and events in the field doing my favorite thing :) P.S. A list of botanical names from the collage is in a separate comment below for those interested.

#Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaFlower #InstaNature #Wildflower #Botany #Botanizing #Orchid #Orchidaceae #OrchidCollage #BucketList #LifeGoal #Diversity #Ecology #Ohio #OhioBotany #OhioNature #OhioOrchids #ExploreOhio #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w
  •   fit_adrianne Wow, amazing! 2w
  •   petitrmy1 I enjoyed the journey thanks for sharing & best wishes for the book 2w
  •   grubbevann So beautiful orchides .you have an interesting job.l love wild flowers.Have god luck further. 2w
  •   jpolascik The question is when will this be available?? :) 2w
  •   vim_alaya It' beautiful and historic journey! Congrats and thanks for sharing the gems! 2w
  •   mnochisaki14 My favorite is the Downy Rattlesnake plantain, one of the most beautiful leaves ! 2w
  •   pdw4 Nice 1w
  •   mazmanphotography Your shot is ! 6d

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the_buckeye_botanist Spring and summer are the height of orchid activity but you'd be remiss if you ignored the fall blooming ladies'-tresses (Spiranthes). Ohio is home to nine different species, making it the second most diverse orchid genus we have, only trailing Platanthera with 12. Each species is easily recognized as a ladies'-tresses by its twist of snow-white crystalline flower around a single stem but it can be challenging getting them down to species level. Some are more generalists in their habitat selections, others much more narrow and specific. In the collage here are all nine of Ohio's Spiranthes listed in order of when they bloom (first in late May, last can go into November). From left to right, top to bottom is shining (S. lucida), hooded (S. romanzoffiana), nodding (S. cernua), grass-leaved (S. vernalis), little (S. tuberosa), southern slender (S. lacera var. gracilis), oval-leaved (S. ovalis var. erostellata), yellow (S. ochroleuca) and Great Plains ladies'-tresses (S. magnicamporum). I find them to be gems and enjoy each encounter I have, no matter the species.

#TributeToWildOrchids #Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaFlower #InstaNature #Wildflower #Botany #Botanizing #Orchid #Orchidaceae #Spiranthes #LadiesTresses #Diversity #Ecology #Habitat #Ohio #OhioBotany #OhioNature #OhioOrchids #ExploreOhio #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w
  •   danlapse nice 2w
  •   wetlandjeff Such a cool genus. I always get nervous when I see it as we have a threatened species here in Texas (S. parksii). This means getting an id to species is important, but I can't take a specimen. Being difficult to distinguish I rely heavily on appropriate habitat type, soil, and range. 2w
  •   plantsdepot 1w

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bass_drum_dealer My special chocolate orchid started blooming. #orchids #botany #botanizing 2w

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the_buckeye_botanist For as frequently as I come across large whorled pogonia (Isotria verticillata), you wouldn't think seeing one in bloom would be as big a deal as it is. It's notoriously fickle and especially frustrating when you consider it's often found growing in large colonies of dozens, even hundreds of plants with 99-100% of them being purely vegetative in any given year. Even when it does flower the blooms last in peak shape for only a handful of days and immediately begin to wilt after losing its pollinia. When you do get to see a large whorled pogonia in fine shape you're met with an intimidating looking flower with the appearance of some mythical beast who's jaws are open and ready to swallow its next victim whole. They occur in acidic, well-drained upland forest communities here in Ohio, but additionally can occupy sphagnum bog mat margins further north. I've visited a bog in SE Michigan where dragon's mouth orchids and large whorled pogonias grow more or less side-by-side! I've noticed in my numerous experiences with this orchid that the smaller the population, the more regularly its few individuals flower year to year, while large populations with numerous plants rarely put forth bloomers with any consistency.
#TributeToWildOrchids #Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaFlower #InstaNature #Wildflower #Botany #Botanizing #Orchid #Orchidaceae #Isotria #Pogonia #Acidic #OakWoods #Bog #Diversity #Ecology #Ohio #OhioBotany #OhioNature #OhioOrchids #ExploreOhio #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w

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the_buckeye_botanist Pink has always been my favorite color for orchids to be. It's saturated, vibrant and jumps off the landscape in such a dramatic manner. Few wear it better than the grass pink orchid (Calopogon tuberosus). This unusual orchid grows in a diversity of open, wet situations with the only common factors seeming to be full sun and a constant water supply. Here in Ohio it's best seen in fen sedge meadows but known from bogs, wet dune swales and wet prairie too. Grass pink's are unique for not following the orchid way of having resupinate (upside down) flowers. Orchid flowers twist 180 degrees during development, allowing their lip to be at the bottom to serve as a landing pad for pollinators who can then access the column/pollinia above. Calopogon's are not resupinate and keep their lip above and column (an orchid's fused male/female reproductive parts) below. This allows for my favorite pollination strategy of any orchid. Bumblebees are attracted to the flurry of orange false stamens on the orchid's lip and land for a nectar snack. Upon doing so, their weight causes the lip to swing on its hinge and fall towards the column below. The bumblebee comes along for the ride and has its back come into contact with the column, hopefully picking up a package of pollen (pollinia) in the process. The bumblebee then suffers very short term memory loss and flies off to another grass pink orchid and repeats the process, this time depositing the pollinia on a different flower when its back hits the column. It must work pretty well as my favorite populations of this orchid always seem to have a decent amount of seed capsules come late summer and fall. Watching the bumblebees unknowingly perform their pollinating duties with these orchids is hilarious and an act I hope to capture on film one day. The genus Calopogon is most diverse in the SE US with four other taxa.

#TributeToWildOrchids #Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaFlower #InstaNature #Wildflower #Botany #Botanizing #Orchid #Orchidaceae #Calopogon #GrassPink #Fen #Wetlands #Pink #Ecology #Ohio #OhioBotany #OhioNature #OhioOrchids #ExploreOhio #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w

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kaylalee5 Ipu flower growing in the mauka shadow, another beautiful plant I got to play with at Limahuli yesterday. The ipu is a gourd or squash, which was brought over to Hawaii with the Polynesians. Its large fruit are hollowed and dried and used as percussion for hula dancing! #plants #gourd #squash #limahuli #hula #ipu #ipuplant #ipugourd #squashflower #squashplant #gourdplant #kauai #luckywelivehawaii #HIlife #percussion #gardens #botanizing #botany #whiteflowers #mauka #mauna 2w

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the_buckeye_botanist The coralroot orchids from the genus Corallorhiza may not be as aesthetically pleasing to the masses as many other orchids but what they lack in looks they more than make up for in their intriguing life histories. Coralroots are named after their subterranean rhizomes that resemble something you might see while snorkeling a tropical reef. They completely lack chlorophyll and thus don't photosynthesize, relying completely on a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi in the soil for nutrients. This fascinating evolutionary adaptation makes them mycoheterotrophs; something a number of other vascular plants are as well (e.g. Monotropsis). My home state of Ohio is home to four different species of coralroot, shown above, coming in a variety of shapes, colors, habitats and rarity. From left to right, top to bottom is spotted coralroot (C. maculata), autumn coralroot (C. odontorhiza), early coralroot (C. trifida) and spring coralroot (C. wisteriana). Due to their unique form of nutrient acquisition, coralroots don't need to appear above ground annually, only doing so to flower and set seed when their energy stores allow for it. This can lead to a great deal of uncertainty on when these plants will show back up, making each seasonal try a fun botanical gamble!

#TributeToWildOrchids #Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaFlower #InstaNature #Botany #Botanizing #Wildflower #Orchid #Orchidaceae #Coralroot #Corallorhiza #Diversity #Ecology #Ohio #OhioBotany #OhioNature #OhioOrchids #ExploreOhio #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w

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the_buckeye_botanist As crazy as it might sound some orchids are more valued and admired for their leaves than their flowers. The rattlesnake plantain orchids of the genus Goodyera instantly come to mind for me. Their fleshy evergreen basal rosettes are truly works of art in the designs and patterns they exhibit. Four species are native to our continent with each having its own unique leaf shape, pattern and color. Their tiny crystalline flowers aren't to be ignored come summer, each born on a stalk emitting from the center of the basal rosette. Each species' flowers are situated above their respective leaves in the collage, starting on the left with downy rattlesnake plantain (G. pubescens), checkered rattlesnake plantain (G. tesellata) and dwarf rattlesnake plantain (G. repens). The fourth species, western rattlesnake plantain (G. oblongifolia) was omitted as I have yet to see the plant in flower. I've only ever seen its leaves, which admittedly are the most 'bland' and not too missed here. All occur in dry-mesic forests on acidic substrates in the Great Lakes region, almost always in association with conifers. Only G. pubescens is known to be extant in Ohio and is arguably our most common wild orchid.

#TributeToWildOrchids #Nature #NatureGram #NatureLovers #NaturePhotography #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaFlower #InstaNature #Botany #Botanizing #Wildflower #Orchidaceae #Orchid #Goodyera #RattlesnakePlantain #Evergreen #Texture #GreatLakes #ConiferousForest #Ecology #Ohio #OhioBotany #OhioNature #ExploreOhio #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w

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the_buckeye_botanist One of my region's more common and widespread orchids is the ragged or green fringed orchid (Platanthera lacera). It's quite the generalist for an orchid, as it occurs in a wide variety of habitats both high-quality and somewhat disturbed/early successional; calcareous and acidic; wet and dry; open and shaded. It's wholly green coloration allows it to blend in with its environment very well and perhaps is why you don't see it as often as you'd think for being such a well-collected taxon. Due to its diversity of habitats, ragged fringed comes in an assortment of different looks and flavors. In the photograph above are two examples of this species: the one of the left being from a shaded coniferous swamp woods with larger, more lacy but fewer/paler flowers; the one on the right from a bur oak savanna, the specimen bearing a deeper color, more compact inflorescence with smaller, less elaborate flowers. No matter its appearance, I always enjoy finding it come summer while botanizing.

#TributeToWildOrchids #Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaNature #InstaNature #Botany #Botanizing #Wildflower #Orchid #Orchidaceae #Platanthera #FringedOrchid #Green #Diversity #Ecology #Summer #Habitat #Ohio #OhioNature #OhioBotany #ExploreOhio #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w

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the_buckeye_botanist Starting off today's #TributeToWildOrchids is one of the most curious and ephemeral of examples in the three birds orchid (Triphora trianthophora). It spends most of the growing season as an essentially impossible to detect mycoheterotroph in the rich hummus of mature beech-maple woodlands before "sprouting" and sending up its tiny, slender stalk adorned with three buds per plant in late July/early August. This process is believed to be initiated by a combination of waning daylight and drop in nighttime temperatures. The buds mature quickly and only open for a few hours in the morning and early afternoon before wilting; making it a very hard orchid to time perfectly. Every plant in a population and surrounding area flowers together to ensure the best chances of cross-pollination and is an incredible sight in large numbers. Its flowers are the purest crystalline white with a gorgeous green throat and purple pollinia. The Triphora genus has about half a dozen taxa in North America, however, all but T. trianthophora (wide-ranging around the eastern US) is restricted to southern Florida.

#Nature #NatureGram #NatureLovers #NaturePhotography #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaFlower #InstaNature #Botany #Botanizing #Wildflower #Orchid #Orchidaceae #Triphora #ThreeBirds #Emphemeral #DeciduousForest #NativeFlora #Ecology #Ohio #OhioBotany #OhioNature #ExploreOhio #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w
  •   pariihoonmain Beautiful 2w
  •   therovingnaturalist So pretty! Love it! 2w
  •   matt_in_trees Wouldn't it be more accurate to describe it as mycoheterotrophic rather than saprophytic? 2w
  •   the_buckeye_botanist @matt_in_trees mycoheterotroph is the new, and yes more accurate way of stating that process these days. Saprophyte only refers to fungi in the newest literature; most of my literature still calls this species and others like it a saprophyte despite it not being truly possible for angiosperms. Just a matter of remembering to use the newer, proper word nowadays. Thanks for the reminder! 2w
  •   merylbe Just stunning! 2w

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the_buckeye_botanist The describing of new species in my neck of the woods always excites me. It's an encouraging reminder there's still plenty to be investigated right under our nose. Take the new-to-science Shriver's frilly orchid (Platanthera shriveri) for example. I got the chance to make its acquaintance several years ago in the Cranberry Glades region of SE West Virginia and was immediately smitten with it. It looks very similar to large purple fringed orchid (P. grandiflora), which grows in the area but differs in enough ways to warrant full species status [P. grandiflora on left, P. shriveri on right in photo]. It's believed to be an ancient, now stabilized hybrid between P. grandiflora and P. lacera that is only known to occur in a handful or so of counties in WV, VA, PA, MA and NC. Some may argue it's just a weird form of P. grandiflora but there's too many differences supporting separation to me (and those who described it, obviously). It differs first and foremost by blooming upwards of a month later (mid-late June for grandiflora, mid-late July for shriveri). Additionally, the isthmus of shriveri's lip is noticeably extended along with more intense/deeper fringing of the lip; the raceme is more loosely/sparsely flowered; and the lip (and its lobes) are distinctly curled up, while more planer in grandiflora. It's a gorgeous taxon and one that was flying under the radar for quite some time. I can easily see the differences, especially after seeing it in person but I think the photo shows enough too.

#TributeToWildOrchids #Nature #NatureGram #NaturePhotography #NatureLovers #PlantPorn #InstaBotany #InstaFlower #InstaNature #Botany #Botanizing #Wildflower #Orchid #Orchidaceae #Platanthera #Shriveri #FrillyOrchid #Ecology #NewSpecies #WestVirginia #WestVirginiaNature #CranberryGlades #TheBuckeyeBotanist #ALGibson
2w

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