Saturday, September 8, 2012

Platanthera leucophaea — Prairie White-Fringed Orchid

Stephen Packard, prairie plant expert extraordinaire, has written a blog post on the discovery of the prairie white-fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) within the boundaries of the City of Chicago. I played a role in that discovery although, at the time, I did not realize the full importance of finding this charismatic prairie plant in one of the most highly developed and urbanized regions of the country. Only when I learned that it was a federally-listed threatened species, and an Illinois-listed endangered species, did I realize how unusual it was to find this plant at the western outskirts of Chicago, not far from O'Hare Airport.

For the full story of Steve's efforts at protecting, preserving, and increasing the population of this showy terrestrial orchid, head on over to Steve's blog, Vestal Grove.