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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rediscovering a Rare Orchid After 50 Years - Tram Rd Stop

Green Swamp and Brunswick County, NC Fieldtrip - June 16th, 2013

I met up with my photography friend Jim Fowler on Sunday to photograph native orchids and other wildflowers in the Green Swamp and surrounding area. We got word that a orchid Spiranthes eatonii, which hadn't been seen since the 1950's, was spotted by another photographer the previous week. It was a species I was unfamiliar with so I jumped at the opportunity to go see it. 

Jim was due to arrive around 11:00 at the pond along Hwy 211 so I left home early and made a stop at one of my favorite sites Tram Road in Duplin County. Here is where the thread-leaf sundew(Drosera filiformis) was discovered a few years ago. This is a rare plant in NC. Roadsides are not places most people would stop to look for for rare plants, but they can be very rich in botanical diversity.

 Tram Road in Duplin County, NC 

 Dense vegetation along the roadside makes it hard to see the sundews.

 Thread-leaf sundew with flower spikes

 Pink flowers of thread-leaf sundew

Orange milkwort (Polygala lutea)
common wildflower of the coastal plain

After spending some time photographing the sundews and other interesting plants, I headed to our meeting place at Green Swamp.  

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