Pink Bog Orchid

Common Name: Pink Bog Orchid[1]

Scientific Name: Calopogon sp. (C. pulchellus or C. tuberosus)

Description: Herbaceous, perennial bog plant; bright pink, butterfly-shaped flowers (about 1½ inches across) form on 12-inch stems in late spring to early summer; several flowers per stem

Size: Flowering stem to 12-inches; entire plant dies down and goes dormant in the fall

Cultural Information: Plant the oval corms 1 to 2 inches deep. Prefers full sun to light shade and deep, moist (not flooded) soil, which has been amended with one-part sand to two-parts peat moss

USDA Zones: 4 through 8

Historical Notes: This showy North American orchid is native to acid-bogs and moist prairies in Wisconsin, but is easy to grow in many regions of the United States with proper care. The genus Calopogon derives from the Greek terms kalos and pogon, meaning "beautiful beard," in reference to the cluster of hairs that adorn the lower petal. This species was first discovered in North America in the 1770s. Lady Skipwith mentions Calopogon pulchellus in her late eighteenth century writings.[2] Peter Henderson's reference to Calopogon in his Henderson's Handbook of Plants and General Horticulture, 1890, notes: "Like most of our native Orchids, it improves by cultivation."[3]

Footnotes

  1. This article is based on a Center for Historic Plants Information Sheet.
  2. Ann Leighton,American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1986), 401.
  3. Henderson, 66.

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