The Orchid of the Forest

White dog orchid flowers

I was pleasantly delighted to find this diminutive flower on a walk through the woods earlier this month. I instantly thought of Lady Slippers, a rare orchid found in the eastern forests of the US, but this little flower is not quite as showy. It is called Palomita in Spanish, in English the white dog orchid or in Latin Codonorchis lessonii. It is a native orchid only 20-30 cm tall.

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Sadly, my little Nikon is acting up and my photos came out poorly so I borrowed this one above from Flickr. Thanks to Pablo Necochea!

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2015-10-27 12.59.31 It has 2-4 gathered leaves with short petioles at the base and a solitary flower on a translucent stalk. The white flowers have reddish purple spots. It’s roots are small tubers. It grows from the Maule region all the way south to the Magellanes region.

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6 thoughts on “The Orchid of the Forest

  1. Your descriptions are as lovely as these flowers. They look so delicate. I wonder if you could transplant a few into a pot for your home? Orchids here are known to be so temperamental…but worth the trouble. (I’d forgotten about Lady Slippers….thx for the reminder on those.)

      • Did you give this a shot…transplanting to your entry gate? We had 70^F temps in December, snow, then back up to mid-60s this week at the end of January. Our plants are so confused right now. Daffodils are blooming…now. Instead of April. Crazy. But, out yards are so green right now. 😉

      • No, i haven’t tried it yet. Waiting for Jim to finish the fence and entry gate! I found a great nursery nearby that sells lots of indigenous plants. Can’t wait to get started when the autumn rains come.

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