Wahkeena has twelve different species of Orchids that can bloom throughout the growing season. If you are only familiar with the grocery store type of orchids, well, you may be disappointed with the native ones. However, if you give them a chance and a closer look (literally) I think you might be surprised. Many of the orchids native to North America are quite small, hard to find, and in special habitats. Bogs and Fens are great places to find native orchids and so are Prairies. Unfortunately, all of those habitats are pretty rare in Ohio. But, it can make finding these elusive plants all the more exciting!
None of our orchids are exceptionally rare or anything, but because we can tell you exactly when they are blooming and make sure that you can actually find the plants, we’re a great place to get good photos or get started on a life list. Many of our orchids can be seen right from the trail.
A Special Note:
      We have found over the years that when humans touch wildflowers the chances of a deer eating them increases greatly. So, please do not touch the orchids! We want them to be there for all the visitors who wish to see them.
Orchids found at Wahkeena Nature Preserve – listed in order of blooming
??? Hooker’s Orchid, Platanthera hookeri – on our list of plants but never seen by Tom.


      Showy Orchis, Galearis spectabilis

      Pink Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium acaule

      Whorled Pogonia, Isotria verticillata

      Puttyroot, Aplectrum hyemale


      Tway Blade Orchid, Liparis lilifolia – can also be late May

      Ragged Fringed Orchid, Platenthera lacera

      Adder’s Mouth Orchid, Malaxis unifolia


      Club-spur Orchid, Platanthera clavellata

      Cranefly Orchid, Tipularia discolor


      Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, Goodyera pubecens


      Autumn Coral Root, Corallorhiza odontorhiza

      Oval Ladies’ Tresses, Spiranthes ovalis

2 Comments on “Orchids

  1. Very interesting to hear that Platanthera hookeri is recorded from the preserve. This species has been extirpated from Ohio for over 100 years and oddly enough was collected once back in May 1891 by W.C. Werner (not sure if that name means anything to you) near Sugar Grove, Fairfield Co. Looking at the overall range map for the species that record is the southerm-most station ever recorded. The idea it still exists somewhere in Wahkeena is a wonderful thought but nigh on impossible; this species is certainly the victim of warming climates but with the cool, shaded sandstone ravines in the area I don't find it too hard to believe it once existed in the area pre-global warming. Are there any specifics on where/when the plant was recorded? All in all very cool!


  2. It is interesting isn't it. We are pretty doubtful about the authenticity of this record. Most of our orginal botanical list was done by one man in 1974. The entry for this orchid is not attributed to him, nor is there a date. We have speculated that perhaps someone saw the leaves of a Twayblade and made a leap? We just don't know. I actually considered not putting hookeri out there, but then thought, why not? If someone is looking for it, who knows what will happen!

    I have been very curious as to the record for Fairfield County. Any more info on where exactly the specimen was collected? Unfortunatly, the name Werner (tantalizing close to Warner!) does not match up with any of the previous landowners for any of the parcels of Wahkeena land, which goes back to the 1850's.

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