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CALOPOGON multiflorus

Image of Calopogon multiflorus

Scott Zona, Wikimedia Commons Contributor

Family

Orchidaceae

Botanical Name

CALOPOGON multiflorus

Plant Common Name

Grasspink, Manyflower Grasspink

General Description

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 leaves are parallel-veined and bright medium green. In early to late-spring, each plant produces a tall, upright stem with two to 15 blossoms that open almost in unison. The stems are blushed with purple just under the flowers, and later return to green after the flowering season ends. The blossoms are rarely pink and more often purplish crimson or magenta. Each flower displays five petals which surround a curved, anvil-headed floral tube. The upper petal sports a bright yellow tuft or "beard" of trichomes that resembles a mass of pollen. Once a pollinating bee lands on the blossom's lip petal, the upper bearded petal folds down and dots pollen onto the back of the insect. When the bee visits the next flower, its backside wipes pollen onto another flower's floral tube. Seed capsules follow and release seeds by autumn.

Easily grown from seed, manyflower grasspink prospers in sandy, somewhat moist, acid soil with some organic matter. This orchid needs full to partial sun to thrive. It is adapted to grassland fires and will prosper and bloom just after a fire passes. Plant it in a naturalistic wildflower meadow garden. Happy plants will naturalize over time. When not in flower, grasspinks look just like grasses, as the common name suggests.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 12

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    7"-20" / 17.8cm - 50.8cm

  • Width

    2"-6" / 5.1cm - 15.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Pink, Magenta

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes