THE NATIVE ORCHIDS OF NEVADA
BY CAROL SIEGEL
Pitty poor Hawaii… Contrary to its lush image as the Orchid Capital of the world, Hawai has only three native orchids. Hawaii has the fewest native orchids in the United States. Nevada on the other hand, with its sizzling, dry deserts and freezing, snowy mountains, the last place associated with orchids, boasts new fewer than TWELVE native orchids, two of which occur in two distinct varieties.
Stand aside Hawaii, we strut our stuff.
It’s not easy to be an orchid in Nevada, yet our resilient and resourceful native orchids have learned to make a living in any little micro-climate that boasts a little water and a little shade. Professor Wes Miles, curator of the Herbarium at UNLV, relates that under a dropping fountain outside the chrmistry building, clumps of epipactus gigantea started to grow, its seeds carried on the wind. In the draineage of a university swimming pool, additional strands grew and flowered just a couple of ils form the strip.
In the steaming desert of Las Vegas in Clark County, where temperatures can range from nine to one jundred and ninteen degrees, three orchids are found: Epipactis gigantea in many places in Red Rock Recreational Area and elsewhere, Planthera dilatata var. leucostachys in Kyle Canyon, and out common species Platanthera sparsiflora, in several locations in the Spring Montains including Kyle and Lww Canyons. In Southern Nevada, including Clark, Nye and Lincoln counties, tese and an additional four native orchids are found, Corallorhiza maculata, Spiranthes diluvialis, Spirantes infernalis, and Spirantes romanzoffiana, and amazing seven native orchids. In all, Nevada has these seven and also Corollaoriza striata, Listera cordata, Spiranthes porrifolia, Piperia unalascensis and the variety Plantathera dilatata var. albiflora and Platanthera stricta, twelve in all. All our orchids are “terrestial,” that is, they grow in the ground rather than clinking to the bark of a tree.
An orchid was considered to be in Nevada ifit was listed in the herbarions (dried plant and information repositories) at UNLV and UNR or ifit was listed as being an orchid from Nevada in the FLORA OF NORTH AMERICA VOLUME 26 2002,Luer’s NATIVE ORCHIDS OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, Correll’s NATIVE ORCHIDS OF NORTH AMERICA, (and/or Brown & Folsom THE WILD ORCHIDS OF NORTH AMERICA NORTH OF MEXICO).
There may be other …
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Ash Medows – Native Nevada Orchid Count