Along with the Calypso, this small orchis shares the distinction of being the rarest wild flower of the State. Its slender stem rises to a height of 6 to 10 inches and bears near the base a single oval or orbicular leaf, 1 to 3 inches long, with one or two scales sheathing the stem below the leaf. Flowers in a short terminal spike, usually five to ten in number, each flower subtended by a small green bract. Sepals and petals oval, rose-colored, the lateral sepals spreading and usually slightly shorter, but sometimes longer than the petals; lip white, beautifully spotted with purple, longer than the petals, three-lobed, the middle lobe larger, dilated and two-lobed or notched at the apex; spur slender, shorter than the lip or barely equalling it in length.
In damp, mossy woods, Greenland to the Rocky mountains, Maine, New York and Wisconsin. The records of its occurrence in this State are very few. It has been found in Oneida, Herkimer and Lewis counties, but not in recent years. Our illustration is from a photograph by Olaf 0. Nylander, taken in Maine.
(Photograph by O. O. Nylander)
Figure VII Small Round-leaved Orchis (Orchis rotundifolia Pursh)