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Thursday - July 02, 2015

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native orchids in Bowie and Harris Counties
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what types of orchids are native to Bowie County and Harris County.


According to the USDA Plants Database these are the native orchid species that occur in Bowie County: 

(* indicates that the species occurs in both Bowie and Harris Counties)

Corallorhiza wisteriana (Spring coralroot) * 

Listera australis (Southern twayblade) *

Platanthera ciliaris (Yellow fringed orchid)

Platanthera clavellata (Small green wood orchid) * 

Platanthera lacera (Green fringed orchid)

Spiranthes cernua (Nodding ladies' tresses orchid) * 

Spiranthes laciniata (Lacelip lady's tresses) * 

Spiranthes odorata (Marsh lady's tresses)

Spiranthes tuberosa (Little lady's tresses) * 

Spiranthes vernalis (Spring lady's tresses) *


Here are the native orchid species that occur in Harris County according to the USDA Plants Database:

Calopogon oklahomensis (Oklahoma grasspink)

Corallorhiza wisteriana (Spring coralroot) * 

Hexalectris spicata (Spiked crested coralroot)

Listera australis (Southern twayblade) * 

Malaxis unifolia (Green adder's-mouth orchid)

Platanthera clavellata (Small green wood orchid) * 

Platanthera cristata (Crested yellow orchid)

Platanthera flava (Palegreen orchid)

Platanthera flava var. flava (Palegreen orchid)

Platanthera nivea (Snowy orchid)

 Spiranthes brevilabris (Texas lady's tresses)

Spiranthes cernua (Nodding ladies' tresses orchid) * 

Spiranthes lacera (Northern slender lady's tresses)

Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis (Northern slender lady's tresses)

Spiranthes laciniata (Lacelip lady's tresses) * 

Spiranthes ovalis (October lady's tresses)

Spiranthes praecox (Greenvein lady's tresses)

Spiranthes tuberosa (Little lady's tresses) * 

Spiranthes vernalis (Spring lady's tresses) *


There is one introduced non-native orchid (from Asia) shown for Harris County.  It is Zeuxine strateumatica (Soldier's orchid).

Here are two books that are focused on Texas orchids that you might find interesting and useful.  Both have descriptions, distribution information as well as beautiful photos and illustrations.

Below are photographs of the 7 species found in both counties and a few photos of some of the more spectacular orchids found in one or the other of the two counties.


From the Image Gallery

Spring coral-root
Corallorhiza wisteriana

Southern twayblade
Listera australis

Small green wood orchid
Platanthera clavellata

Nodding ladies'-tresses
Spiranthes cernua

Lace-lip ladies'-tresses
Spiranthes laciniata

Little ladies'-tresses
Spiranthes tuberosa

Spring ladies'-tresses
Spiranthes vernalis

Orange fringed orchid
Platanthera ciliaris

Oklahoma grasspink
Calopogon oklahomensis

Crested yellow orchid
Platanthera cristata

Snowy orchid
Platanthera nivea

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Field Guide to the Wild Orchids of Texas (2008) Brown, P. M.

Wild Orchids of Texas (1999) Liggio, J. & A.O. Liggio

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