fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

an orchid by any other smell

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Yosemite Orchid

Platanthera yosemitensis

Amazing what one might find in the backyard, so to speak, if one looks long enough. Especially if you follow your nose.

An orchid that exists only in Yosemite National Park and first collected in 1923 has been found to be a distinct species. Apparently, it grows at only nine sites in the park and was rediscovered after a U.S. Geological Survey member tracked down a smell “…like a horse corral on a hot afternoon.”

Yosemite Valley’s meadows, which have never frozen under glaciers, are home to other endemic plants such as the Yosemite onion, Yosemite woolly sunflower and Bolander’s clover. The Yosemite bog-orchid (Platanthera yosemitensis) is the only known orchid species endemic to the Sierra Nevada range and grows in spring-fed areas at 6,000 to 9,000 feet. Its flowers are less than a quarter of an inch wide. An article in Madroño, a journal of the California Botanical Society announced the species’ discovery.

You can google news to find out more, or read more about Platanthera yosemitensis it at or the Fresno Bee.


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