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Icelandic orchids (picture heavy)

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by xmpraedicta, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    I was fortunate and privileged enough to visit Iceland last week, right as the late spring/early summer bloom season started. Hiking through this beautiful country, I was able to spot 6 of the 7 species that grow there, many right on the edge of hiking trails. My partner was very patient with me as I crawled around on the ground trying to take photos. Naturally, with the limited number of species, I became obsessed with 'collecting' pictures of them all.

    From my brief reading, these species are all quite wide-spread in N. America and Europe, with the exception of Platanthera hyperborea, which is restricted to Greenland, Iceland and parts of N. America. I wonder if Naoki commonly sees these species in Alaska too.

    One of the most common species was pseudorchis albida. Here is a nice colony growing near Skaftafelljokul, a mere 20 minute walk from the base of a huge glacier:
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    Another common orchid I saw was Coeloglossum viride. It came in a variety of colours ranging from pure green to maroon:
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    Here is a nice patch growing right alongside another orchid: Platanthera hyperborea
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    Being completely naiive in the realm of northern terrestrial orchids, it took seeing Platanthera hyperborea and Pseudorchis albida side-by-side to firmly note the difference.
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    I only saw one specimen of Corallorhiza trifida during my hikes:
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    I also found some Neottia cordata which was very lucky, as they are small and hard to see. They come in a pale green/brown as well as a darker maroon
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    Some nice Dactylorhiza maculata, seen on a mountain-side near Geysir, a series of hot springs and boiling pools. Apparently, there are many subspecies of this widespread species, with the Icelandic one named as Dactylorhiza maculata subsp. islandica:

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    Finally, a non-orchid - Bilberry, likely Vaccinium myrtillus. I saw this growing everywhere in the moorland in both wet and dry locations. I sampled a dessert made from the ripe berries and it was delicious!
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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
    DarleneJay, KellyW, leo and 5 others like this.
  2. RustyExotics

    RustyExotics Nicholas - It's a terrestrial thing

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    You could post 100 more pictures and it still wouldn't be too many. Thank you so much for sharing them all!
     
  3. pcolman

    pcolman Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the in situ photos of decidedly non-tropical orchids.
     
  4. sam1147

    sam1147 sam1147

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    Superb
     
  5. DanaRaluca

    DanaRaluca Active Member

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    Beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing them.
     
  6. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Very nice, Calvin! Do you by any chance do iNaturalist? I'm re-living my childhood fun with my 7yo son catching insects, frogs, fish etc. I've been asking my professional entomologist friend (a curator of UAF museum) for ID's, and he introduce us to iNatrualist. It is somewhat like Pokemon Go for naturalists. My son also loves to deposit photos to iNaturalist and gets excited if it is the first record for Alaska etc. Also, there are amazing number of knowledgeable people there, and I got ID's for all kinds of creatures which I'm not familiar with within a couple hours. I started to catalogue even the common weeds in my back yard and have improved my knowledge about the nature surrounding us dramatically.

    I recently learned through iNaturalis that Platanther hyperborea are divided into 3 species: P. aquilonis, P. huronensis, and P. hyperborea. The one in Iceland is P. hyperborea but in Alaska, it is P. aquilonis. I found P. aquilonis last week, so I will post it here when I get a chance.

    As you mentioned, a couple of them are in northern North America. Unfortunately, I haven't seen them around here. Coeloglossum viride and Neottia cordata is in S. Alaska and Canada, so it would be a quite bit of drive for me. Corallorhiza trifida is around here, but I haven't seen one yet.

    It is amazing that you could see so many species in one shot! What is the last species you didn't see?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  7. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    Thanks for viewing everyone!

    Another orchid grower recommended this and I just signed up and uploaded a few photos. This looks like a great resource

    It seems neottia ovata also grows in Iceland - that was the last one I didn't see. It was quite spectacular, as I was able to see 4-5 different species on one single trail. I suspect this is due to how wide-spread the plants are