Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

What about the Bluebonnets at Muleshoe Bend Recreational Area in Spicewood, TX ?
April 27, 2015 - We had heard about vast field of bluebonnets out at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area - an LCRA park in Spicewood. We went out today and there are indeed vast fields . . . all where Lake Travis would be ...
view the full question and answer

Sharing Selfheal with Texas Friends
April 25, 2013 - I have discovered selfheal plants in my yard. When and how do I collect the seeds or do I just dig up plants to share with friends? I understand this is actually an herb. I love identifying wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Survivability of plants after freeze
December 08, 2003 - I have many beautiful plants that froze. Some were Lantana, Hummingbird Bush, Candlestick Trees, Esperanza, Some flowers, and Marigolds. I love all of my plants and flowers and I want them to grow bac...
view the full question and answer

Plants for farm animals from East Greenwich RI
May 03, 2014 - What type of perennial flowers and shrubs are safe to plant around farm animals (dogs, horses, chickens, turkeys) in New England climate?
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for North Central Texas
May 27, 2014 - I have a very large area that is in Palo Pinto County, Texas. We tried to plant grass but it never established. I'm looking for a ground cover that does well in shade (lots of oak tees) and is semi d...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Bibliography

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

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

Search More Titles in Bibliography