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  #1  
Old 11-15-2023, 01:28 PM
MichiganFairies MichiganFairies is offline
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New potential discovery with Spiranthes magnicamporum??
Exclamation New potential discovery with Spiranthes magnicamporum??

Recently I was out in a bog doing this fun little game I play with myself where I identify orchids only by their seed pods and I found a really cool prairie area! In that prairie I saw a massive colony of Spiranthes magnicamporum which was a really fun sight. But I noticed something. I observed that most of the plants flowering there had no leaves at all. One flower that had about only a few individual flowers on it and mostly pods had 2 very tiny oval basal leaves. I looked around very closely, and I found more of those basal leaves around the prairie, but those plants had no flowers on them. I thought that was strange.
So, about 2 months later (maybe 2 weeks ago) I went back to that prairie area, again playing that game I like to play when I noticed that all of the seed pods on the orchids were dried and blowing seeds. I decided to collect a small amount before I noticed that just then, there were leaves on the orchids. It's November though! I started doing heavy research on this plant and I have looked and looked online, but I haven't found any pictures of the orchid with leaves and also no evidence that this orchid could be hibernal.

(Hibernal means the orchid leaves come up in the autumn, last throughout winter to photosynthesize, and die in the spring before the flowers bloom.)

It is now November 15, and yesterday I went back to that prairie. Sure enough, those leaves were completely out. Again, it's November, and I wouldn't expect this to happen. The only thing I read online is this, which is a bit shocking to me..
"Basal leaves are long and slender, up to 5˝ inches long, ˝ inch wide and wilt away around 2 weeks before the flowers appear" Spiranthes magnicamporum (Great Plains Ladies'-tresses): Minnesota Wildflowers

The leaves on the orchid I found were NOT long and slender. They were very small and round. It also says that there is a tinge of yellow on the lower lip, and I never saw that.

Is there a chance this is a hybrid, or have I discovered a completely new species??
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2023, 06:05 PM
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New potential discovery with Spiranthes magnicamporum?? Female
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What a great discovery! Is there a university botany department in your area? If so, do some networking! Get to know people who are working on these things. They welcome citizen scientists.
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Old 11-15-2023, 06:46 PM
MichiganFairies MichiganFairies is offline
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Not sure what those are lol- I don't think I would be accepted for anything as I am only 14 years old haha
Would the University of Michigan Herbarium be one of those?
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Old 11-15-2023, 06:51 PM
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Not sure what those are lol- I don't think I would be accepted for anything as I am only 14 years old haha
Would the University of Michigan Herbarium be one of those?
A good place to start. Try a phone call, if you can get a human on the other end, they can possibly hook you up with the right person. (or if there is an email on the website use that) Age isn't an issue... you have found something interesting, most professors are eager to encourage the efforts of young people interested in what THEY are interested in.

You never know where these contacts will lead. Just to show what can happen... Brandon Tam, who is in charge of the orchid collection at the Huntington Library, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens in southern California, started out at age 14 as a volunteer there. He kept on working there, after he graduated high school, he got his college degree, got hired full time, and now he runs the place. (I think he is still in his 20's) So make those connections!
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Last edited by Roberta; 11-15-2023 at 07:13 PM..
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Old 11-15-2023, 08:11 PM
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I totally agree! If anything your age will make them more likely to listen to what you have to say. Especially if you do your homework first which it seems like you have!

Have you tried Inaturalist? That enables you to look at what other people have seen in the area and post your plant for other people to look at. Not everyone is an expert but there are experts on there that might be able to help.

Please keep us up to date!
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Old 11-15-2023, 10:06 PM
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New potential discovery with Spiranthes magnicamporum??
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Are you close to Ann Arbor? They have an orchid society. If not, you can still contact someone there and ask them who would be a good person to contact about it. There is always someone who knows someone.....

Ann Arbor Orchid Society

or, facebook:

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Old 11-16-2023, 09:53 AM
MichiganFairies MichiganFairies is offline
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Originally Posted by Louis_W View Post
I totally agree! If anything your age will make them more likely to listen to what you have to say. Especially if you do your homework first which it seems like you have!

Have you tried Inaturalist? That enables you to look at what other people have seen in the area and post your plant for other people to look at. Not everyone is an expert but there are experts on there that might be able to help.

Please keep us up to date!
I'll be posting pictures of the strange orchid shortly once I can find them buried in my camera roll!
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Old 11-16-2023, 02:29 PM
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I can't think of any other way to get this to him, so I screenshotted the original post, and sent it to a friend who specializes in North American natives. If needed he can get it to Matthew Pace, who is probably the best authority on the genus Spiranthes.

---------- Post added at 02:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:04 PM ----------

Well that was quick! Leaves are not a good means of ID'ng Spiranthes. Would you have a closeup flower pic?

---------- Post added at 02:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:22 PM ----------

One thing I can add myself is that Spiranthes are known to naturally hybridize, which can really muck up identification.
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Old 11-16-2023, 02:48 PM
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New potential discovery with Spiranthes magnicamporum??
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I was just reading through the website you posted.

It was published by Peter M. Dziuk. You can email him the photos and discuss. He says he is available for that on the site.
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Old 11-17-2023, 08:28 AM
MichiganFairies MichiganFairies is offline
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New potential discovery with Spiranthes magnicamporum??
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrosa View Post
I can't think of any other way to get this to him, so I screenshotted the original post, and sent it to a friend who specializes in North American natives. If needed he can get it to Matthew Pace, who is probably the best authority on the genus Spiranthes.

---------- Post added at 02:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:04 PM ----------

Well that was quick! Leaves are not a good means of ID'ng Spiranthes. Would you have a closeup flower pic?

---------- Post added at 02:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:22 PM ----------

One thing I can add myself is that Spiranthes are known to naturally hybridize, which can really muck up identification.
The flowers looked like this, long and short stems scattered everywhere. all of them only had one flower on it.
https://main-groupdocs-viewer-app.s3...bca04ba0018789
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