Arethusa bulbosa L. - Dragon's Mouth


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Arethusa bulbosa - (image 1 of 3)



Family: Orchidaceae


 Sphagnum bogs, fens, and swampy meadows.




Newfoundland to MN, south to NJ and northern IN, and in mountains to NC and SC.


Herbaceous perennial from a corm; scape 10-30 cm, with 1-3 loose blunt bracts toward the base; leaf 1, grass-like, arising after anthesis from within the upper bract, at maturity nearly equaling the scape, 2-4 mm wide; flowers 3-6 cm high, subtended by a pair of small bracts; sepals and petals laceolate, magenta; lip pinkish-white, spotted and streaked with purple and yellow, crested on the face with 3 fimbriate ridges, about as long as the lateral petal; column erect, petaloid, dilated at the summit.


Flowers May to June

Wetland Indicator: OBL

An attractive species that unfortunately has become rare throughout much of its range. Over collecting probably has played a role in its decline.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018