This spectacular wetland orchid has showy purple flowers with fringed petals and can grow up to three feet tall. It has a thick flower spike, with flowers in a dense cluster. There are many flowers on each spike, often more than one hundred, and the lower lip is heavily fringed. The flowers also vary in color, from dark pink to purple. Flowers are pollinated when moths insert their proboscis down the long nectar tube and are covered by the sticky pollen near the top of the flower. This orchid relies on mycorrhizal fungi in the soil and cannot be propagated. It should never be removed from the wild, as it will only die when transplanted.
Coleman Pond - Lincolnville, Miane