The blooming season is starting to wind down. The following is the blooming activity for August.
- Spiranthes diluvialis (Ute Ladies Tresses)
This species is a listed threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The species has been collected/recorded from throughout Utah. One of the larger populations grows along Diamond Fork Creek in Utah County. To find these plants take the Diamond Fork road off Highway 6 (Spanish Fork Canyon Highway (Highway 6 exit off Interstate 15). Numerous group of plants may be found along Diamond Fork Creek in many of the open riparian areas along the stream. The plants will be found in the open areas within 10-20 feet from the stream banks. Plants are six to 18 inches tall with an inflorescence with 3 to 20 white flowers. Early August is the prime bloom period.
- Platanthera zothecina (Alcove Bog Orchid)
The Alcove bog orchid has an extended bloom period extending from May to October; however, July and August seem to be the peak bloom period. It grows mostly in southern Utah in the hanging alcove gardens but may be found in moist stream banks and seeps in mixed desert dessert, pinion/juniper and oak-brush communities. It has been collected/recorded from Emery, Garfield, Grand, San Juan and Uintah Counties. When growing in the alcove areas it grows on the cliff walls and debris piles from sliding soils off the cliffs. In addition it has interesting companion plants growing with them. The plants are from 6 to 20 inches tall with upright inflorescent and from 5 to 20 yellowish green to green flowers.
An easily reached population is found northeast of Moab along state highway 128 along side the Colorado River. The trail is about 1/4 mile off downriver from the Negro Bill trail parking area. A short trail into an area where several plants grow in an alcove area at the end of the trail. The trail does go through a patch of poison ivy. It can be avoided if your are careful. This area has an interesting plant community you don’t want to miss.
- Goodyera oblongifolia (Rattlesnake Plantian)
This species is a widespread plant and was mentioned in the July notes. It wouldn’t be blooming in July but it is during August. It is easily identified either in or out of bloom because of its rosetta form and its green and white variegated leaves. It is found in many shaded plant communities.
Happy orchid observing, Jim C.