Our Native Iowa Orchids

        Orchids are often thought of as rare, fragile objects of art, existing only in tropical forests and greenhouses.  In reality nothing, could be further from the truth.  Orchids exist worldwide from the artic to the tip of Tierra del Fuego.  Orchids are absent only from the driest deserts and the wettest habitats.  Orchids in temperate Iowa exist as terrestrial plants quite different from their epiphytic cousins that inhabit much of the tropics and subtropics.  The orchid family (Orchidaceae) is large and is represented in Iowa by 32 species in 13 genera and include some of our rarest plants.  The most beautiful and showy native Iowa orchids have been at risk of being collected or dug up for most of this century.  Many of our native Iowa orchids require a special fungi present in the soil to survive.  For this reason, transplanting them almost always fails.

Below is a list of orchids that exist in Iowa:

  1. Aplectrum hyemale - Putty Root, Adam and Eve
  2. Calopogon tuberosus var. tuberosus - Grass Pink Orchid
  3. Coeloglossum viride var. virescens - Bracted Green Orchid, Long-Bracted Green Orchid
  4. Corallorhiza maculata var. maculata - Spotted Coral-Root
  5. Corallorhiza maculata var. occidentalis - Spotted Coral-Root, Large Coral-Root, Many-Flowered Coral-Root
  6. Corallorhiza odontorhiza var. odontorhiza - Autumn Coral-Root
  7. Corallorhiza odontorhiza var. pringlei - Autumn Coral-Root
  8. Cypripedium candidum - Small White Ladyís Slipper, White Ladiesí Slipper, Little White Orchid, Ducks, Squirrel Shoes
  9. Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum - Small Yellow Lady's Slipper, Southern Small Yellow Ladyís Slipper
  10. Cypripedium parvifloum var. makasin - Northern Small Yellow Ladyís Slipper
  11. Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens - Large Yellow Ladyís Slippers
  12. Cypripedium reginae - Showy Lady's Slipper, Queen Lady's Slipper, Large White Ladyís Slipper, Big Pink and White, Moccasin Flower
  13. Galearis spectabilis - Showy Orchis, Purple-Hooded Orchis, Two-Leaved Orchis
  14. Goodyera pubescens - Downy Rattlesnake Plantian
  15. Liparis lilifolia - Purple Twayblade, Lily-Leaved Twayblade, Large Twayblade, Mauve Sleekwort
  16. Liparis loeselii - Bog Twayblade, Fen Orchid, Green Twayblade, Loeselís Bog Orchid, Loeselís Twayblade, Yellow Twayblade
  17. Malaris unifolia - Green Adderís Mouth
  18. Plananthera clavellata var. ophioglossoides - Small Green Wood Orchid
  19. Plananthera flava var. herbiola - Tubercled Rein-Orchid
  20. Plananthera hookeri - Hookerís Orchid
  21. Plananthera huronensis - Tall Northern Green Orchid, Tall Green Bog-Orchid, Tall Leafy Green Orchid
  22. Plananthera hyperborea var. hyperborea - Northern Leafy Green Orchid, Green-Flowered Bog Orchid, Bog Candle, Leafy Orchid, Northern Orchid, Northern Rein Orchid
  23. Plananthera lacera - Green Fringed Orchid, Ragged Fringed Orchid, Ragged Orchid
  24. Plananthera leucophaea - Prairie Fringed Orchid, Prairie White-Fringed Orchid, Western Greenish-Fringed Orchid
  25. Plananthera praeclara - Western Prairie Fringed Orchid
  26. Plananthera psychodes - Purple Fringed Orchid, Small Purple Fringed Orchid, Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid, Butterfly Orchid
  27. Pogonia ophioglossoides var. ophioglossoides - Rose Pogonia
  28. Spiranthes cernua - Ladiesí Tresses, Common Ladiesí Tresses, Drooping Ladiesí Tresses, Nodding Ladiesí Tresses, Screw Auger, Spike Orchid, Wild Tuberose
  29. Spiranthes lacera var. lacera - Northern Slender Ladiesí Tresses
  30. Spiranthes magnicamporum - Great Plainís Ladiesí Tresses
  31. Spiranthes romanzoffiana - Hooded Ladiesís Tresses
  32. Triphora trianthophora var. trianthophora - Three-Birds Orchid, Nodding Pogonia

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