Stem. - Leafy, one to two feet high. Leaves. - The lower oblong to lance-shaped, the upper passing into pointed bracts. Flowers. - Deep orange color, with a slender spur and deeply fringed lip; growing in an oblong spike.
Years may pass without our meeting this the most brilliant of our orchids. Suddenly one August day we will chance upon just such a boggy meadow as we have searched in vain a hundred times, and will behold myriads of its deep orange, domelike spires erecting themselves in radiant beauty over whole acres of land. The separate flowers, with their long spurs and deeply fringed lips, will repay a close examination. They are well calculated, massed in such brilliant clusters, to arrest the attention of whatever insects may specially affect them. Although I have watched many of these plants I have never seen an insect visit one, and am inclined to think that they are fertilized by night moths.
Plate LII. Yellow Fringed Orchis. - H.ciliaris
Single flower, enlarged.
Mr. Baldwin declares : "If I ever write a romance of Indian life, my dusky heroine, Birch Tree or Trembling Fawn, shall meet her lover with a wreath of this orchis on her head."