Hans Stieglitz, Wikimedia Commons Contributor
When translated from Greek, the genus name Calopogon means "beautiful beard," alluding to the fuzy tuft on the upper petal (labellum) of its seven-part flowers. Comprising four species, all native to southeastern North America and the West Indies, this is a group of terrestrial (ground-growing) orchid wildflowers. Natural habitats include open soggy woodlands, wet prairies, and seepage slopes.
Members of the Calopogon are colloquially called grasspinks. They grow from underground,...
(Bearded Grasspink, Grasspink)
Bearded grasspink produces a loose cluster of white, pink or rosy-violet blossoms in late winter to spring. The orchid blooms lack fragrance but are delicate and beautiful. Native to wetlands and bogs across the American southeastern coastal plain, from eastern North Carolina to Louisiana and central Florida, this hardy terrestrial orchid grows from an elongated corm (bulb-like root).
The slender, grass-like leaves of bearded grasspink are bright medium green. Unlike other grasspinks, the leaves...
Scott Zona, Wikimedia Commons Contributor
(Grasspink, Manyflower Grasspink)
Heavily perfumed, sometimes with a pungent scent, the manyflower grasspink bears rose-magenta or purplish-rose blossoms in springtime. This wildflower is native to the seasonally moist-to-dry sandy soils across the American southeastern coastal plain. It is a rare orchid in the wild, largely due to pine flatwood habitat destruction. The densest populations can be found in Central Florida.
Manyflower grasspink grows from an elongated corm (bulb-like root) that forks over time. Its slender, grass-like...
(Grasspink, Oklahoma Grasspink)
The Oklahoma grasspink bears stalks of lightly scented rose-pink blossoms from spring to midsummer, depending on geography. This herbaceous perennial wildflower is a true prairie forb that grows from an elongated corm (bulb-like root). In the wild it can be found growing in pine savannas, acid sandy to loamy prairies, open oak forests and bog edges. Very similar in physical characteristics to the bearded grasspink (Calopogon barbatus), which is usually non-fragrant, the Oklahoma grasspink...
(Grasspink, Pale Grasspink)
Blooming in spring or summer, depending on geography, pale grasspink is late-flowering compared to most other grasspinks. Its widely spaced, pale pink to white flowers are produced on a larger spike than most other grasspinks. This orchid is native to the southeastern coastal plain, from North Carolina to Louisiana, where it thrives in moist, acid soils. Like other grasspinks, it grows from an elongated corm (bulb-like root).
The slender, grass-like leaves of this orchid are parallel-veined...
(Grasspink, Tuberous Grasspink)
A dainty, diminutive orchid, the grasspink is an overlooked wildflower until it blooms in spring when it produces a show of fragrant pink blossoms. Native to North America, from Manitoba to Newfoundland and south to Texas and Florida, it grows from an elongated corm (bulb-like root) in open, often piney bogs. Those found in the warmer climes grow taller and produce larger flowers and the naturally occurring variety, simpsonii, grows in the seasonally wet alkaline soils of Cuba, the Bahamas...
(Grasspink, Simpson'S Grasspink)
It's not typical to find an orchid that prospers in swampy soils with high pH. Simpson's grasspink is one such plant. A ground-dwelling, grass-like orchid that's an overlooked wildflower until it blooms, Simpson's grasspink hails from the sunny alkaline swamps of the Everglades and in nearby Cuba and the Bahamas. It grows from an rounded, plump corm (bulb-like root).
The slender, grass-like leaves of this orchid are gently pleated and bright green and are strongly curved in cross-section. The...
James H. Schutte
Woolly stems and leaves of the crown flower attract attention year round, but extra visual delight occurs when stem tips bear a cluster of lavender flowers. A spreading evergreen succulent shrub, it is native to dry woodlands across southeastern Asia, from India to Indonesia. Traditionally, crown flower's stem bark is used as medicine, the leaves as a wound poultice and plant juices as a yellow dye.
The large oval leaves emerge very fuzzy and almost silvery white. As they mature, the leaf becomes...
James H. Schutte
(Cowslip, Golden Marsh Marigold, Kingcup)
Brightening the streambanks or bogs in midspring with showy yellow buttercup flowers, marsh marigold is a lovely woodland wildflower. A deciduous, mounding aquatic perennial, it is native to the northern half of North America from Alaska to Newfoundland south to Iowa and North Carolina.
The thick, spreading, hollow stems carry lush green heart-shaped leaves with dull jagged teeth. In mid- to late spring, the branching stems bear small loose clusters of bright yellow flowers that are waxy. Shaped...
JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
White, magnolia-like blossoms with yellow and violet make Venus sweetshrub a lovely plant for the mixed border. A spreading shrub that is deciduous, this hybrid was first grown from seed at North Carolina State University research facility in Fletcher in 2001, the result of complex crosses of three species of sweetshrubs.
The leaves are oblong ovals, glossy deep green in color. In late spring to midsummer, depending on warmth of the climate, small, plump, light green flower buds arise and open...