Montana Outdoors

July 20, 2013

White and green orchids

While these are not at all rare, perhaps because of the time of their bloom I see few of these wild orchids (and maybe because they are very easy to overlook in the tall grasses of mid-summer).

white or boreal bog orchid, white rein orchid, bog candle, scent bottle

White or Boreal Bog Orchid, White Rein Orchid, Bog Candle, Scent Bottle, Platanthera dilatata

Western Rattlesnake Plantain

Western Rattlesnake Plantain

Western Rattlesnake Plantain

Western Rattlesnake Plantain, Green-leaf Rattlesnake Plantain, Goodyera oblongifolia

Daisy & guest

And, there are still other white blossoms too, even on their visitors.


  1. Beautiful flowers ! And great photos! The only flower i can recognize from where i live is the Marguerite . // Maria 🙂


    Comment by mariayarri — July 20, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    • Thanks Maria. I think the Marguerite has worldwide distribution, as it deserves. The two orchids, I believe, are native only to the northern and western states of the U.S. and most of Canada.


      Comment by montucky — July 20, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

  2. The design on the “guest” on the daisy reminds me of some of those African masks. See the eyes and what could be a nose and mouth? And the orchids! I would never have noticed them. Tiny, discreet beauties.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 20, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

    • I think that little bee or fly is about like the rest of us these days: can’t tell if it’s coming or going.
      Yes, those orchids can be easily missed. It’s almost as though they were camouflaged. I would bet though that they look very different to their pollinators: I wish I could see through their eyes.


      Comment by montucky — July 20, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

      • Would be interesting to know what they see.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 21, 2013 @ 12:07 am

        • It would be fascinating. I also wish I could have the sense of a bear’s nose (for a few seconds at a time).


          Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 8:55 am

  3. Thought of you and your beautiful wildflower photos often as I walked Sierra meadows and trails. We did see some orchids and many other flowers which we were surprised to see in such numbers since we had such a dry winter. Seeing your photos has encouraged me to take a closer look at those I do see. My little hand lens is going everywhere with me now. Beautiful images and great inspiration. Thanks!


    Comment by anniespickns — July 21, 2013 @ 5:55 am

  4. Orchids can be very hard to see. I recently found a downy rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens) that I must have walked by 20 time last year without seeing. I’m waiting for it to bloom. I think it’s going to look a lot like your Goodyera oblongifolia. I think “scent bottle” is just about the best common name that I’ve heard for a flower.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — July 21, 2013 @ 7:47 am

    • I get a special reward when I find a wild orchid, and this time of year especially when the other flowers have nearly disappeared at lower elevations.


      Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 8:59 am

  5. That’s one classy bug in that last photo! I tried to identify it, but haven’t come up with anything yet. I do know what it’s not, and that’s always a good place to start! (Who knew there were so many black and white bees, wasps and beetles?!)


    Comment by shoreacres — July 21, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    • I’m pretty sure that it’s a bald-faced hornet. I see lots of them here, but usually don’t get that particular view of one and it disappeared before I could get a good look at the rest of it.


      Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 9:06 am

  6. Love your formally dressed bug picture. I have never seen these orchids around here … but, like you said, they could be buried and hidden in the mountains of other vegetation … the woods are so thick here.


    Comment by bearyweather — July 21, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    • USDA Plants shows rattlesnake plantain in Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine only east of the Missouri. You might have the bog orchid there though, but it sure does like to hide.


      Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

  7. beautiful
    sometimes i see a lot of them
    but yes they do indeed blend in with the grasses


    Comment by Tammie — July 21, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    • This seems like a poor year for them around this area. Perhaps the unusual heat that we’ve had.


      Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 1:31 pm

  8. Another great set of photographs. I like the bee…or whatever it is.



    Comment by knightofswords — July 21, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    • Thanks Malcolm. Daisies have some interesting visitors especially this late in the season.


      Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

  9. Pretty orchids but I especially like the last photo with the hornet, very crisp.


    Comment by Candace — July 21, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

    • That was one of those “Well, I’ll give it a try” photos. This time it worked.


      Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

  10. Very interesting, exciting plants, and a funne picture in the end. Great post.


    Comment by bentehaarstad — July 21, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    • Thanks Bente. I do find the orchids exciting and the plant visitors are always interesting. If that is a baldfaced hornet as I think, it is interesting because although I see many of their nests (and have an old one a foot in diameter hanging as a decoration in my house) I seldom see the hornets themselves.


      Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

  11. How nice that you got to play with an orchid in summer.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — July 21, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

    • Yes. I love to encounter the wild orchids. These, I believe, are the latest ones to bloom here. When I’m able to hike again maybe I’ll find some at the higher elevations.


      Comment by montucky — July 21, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

  12. It sure is a treat discovering orchids in the wild! Great photos!


    Comment by dhphotosite — July 22, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    • It is always a treat! It also tells you that you have been hiking in the right places!


      Comment by montucky — July 22, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

  13. Hi Montucky, Thanks for sharing and identifying the bloom. I have never seen any in person. What a lovely delicate little orchid! Have a super nice Tuesday tomorrow and a great evening tonight!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — July 22, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

    • Thanks for your interest and for sharing my love for wildflowers!


      Comment by montucky — July 22, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

  14. Great shots Terry, I never get enough of wildflower images, I am sure glad you share them with us so I can see what else blooms beyond my area !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — July 22, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

    • I feel the same way, Bernie. Those little natural beauties are real treasures!


      Comment by montucky — July 22, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

  15. Amazing photos, I love the way you’ve captured the droplets!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — July 24, 2013 @ 3:36 am

  16. Your macro photos are gorgeous – full with life which we normally do not see.


    Comment by Sartenada — July 25, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

    • Thanks Matti! That’s the main reason for my posts, to let others see some of the things from around here.


      Comment by montucky — July 26, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

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