Many people are surprised that orchids grow in Colorado. While they are common in the tropics, we also have them here in the cool mountains.
I have seen only two species of wild orchids in Colorado. But they are probably the most beautiful of at least 33 species of orchids that grow here. Scott Smith has photographs of each of them at Colorado Orchids. By comparison, subtropical Hawaii has only four species of orchids.
Another nature photographer who also lives in Boulder, Rich Wolf, brought those links to my attention. Even more importantly, when Rich found a Spotted Coralroot (Corallorhiza maculata) on the North Mesa Trail last week, he alerted me immediately. Later, he posted his photo essay at “Improbably Parasites on the Mesa Trail.”
I made sure to look for this orchid beauty as soon as I could and found it easily using Rich’s precise directions.
Click on the picture above to enlarge
This morning I found Colorado’s other exceptionally beautiful orchid. I made sure to return the favor and alerted Rich immediately.