(Plate XXVI.)

Family

Orchis.

Colour

White.

Odour

Scentless.

Range

Northward to Minnesota, and in New Jersey.

Time of Bloom

July.

Flowers: crowded on a short, oblong spike and having slender spurs; the lower lip heavily fringed. Leaves: alternate; lanceolate; passing gradually into bracts; clasping at the base.

It seems, sometimes, that we hardly know what to say about a flower. Not because it is uninteresting, but because it is so very lovely that our sensations concerning it are silent. It is so with the white orchis. When found in some cranberry bog or swamp they are generally growing in great profusion. There is a milk-white purity about the blooms, and their swaying fairy fringe makes them very beautiful.

H. ciliaris, or the yellow-fringed orchis (Plate XXVI), is not so frequently found as the white one. It is taller, and of a deep, rich orange in colour. The two resemble each other so closely that there has been a question whether they were not simply different colours of the same species. It is now believed, however, that they are separate species. The yellow one is a little later in reaching the height of its bloom.

As will be seen from the illustration, the fringe of both of these orchids is wider than the lip it edges.