Wood orchids opening

Some close-ups of the unassuming wood orchids, growing about 30m (=yards) from my house

They are just starting to open.  Luckily, I found a few growing just 30m from the house, along with some of the Indian Pipe I showed last week.  Here is a view of a couple of the plants, followed by some close-ups.  They are nothing special until you get close.  The “whole plant” shot is hard to make out the plant at all – I made several attempts before I got one where you could make out the whole plant against the green background of the pines but once close up, you see the flowers that attracted several insects in the few minutes it took me to take the pictures.  I had to use my new tripod as the light is not good in the forest.

Wood orchid
Wood orchid – whole plants
Wood orchid closeup 1
Wood orchid closeup 1
Wood orchid closeup 2
Wood orchid closeup 2

 

 

Helleborine orchid and close-up Zinnias

This is a non-native orchid, which Ontario Wildflowers says may be invasive, but it doesn’t seem to be crowding out my twitch grass 🙂

Helleborine
Helleborine orchid (Epipactus helleborine)

It’s only tiny (this flower is less than 1cm or about 1/3 inch) though on a spike of flowers.

This close up of a zinnia shows the flowers-within-a-flower that is typical of composites.  The “petals” are ray-florets and these are disk florets.

Zinnia disk floret
Zinnia disk floret

To put it in perspective, here is a collection of whole flowers:

Zinnias
Zinnias

These were grown from seed.

Finally, one more picture of the castor bean flowers.  The male and female are separate flowers which appear on the same plant.  Here you see both (white is male, the red star-shaped part  on top of the spiky ball is the stamen which shrivels and leaves the spiky part to harden and become sharp to protect the seeds which are also poisonous to us, though presumably there are creatures which eat them or they wouldn’t need the armour).

Castor bean flower
Castor bean flower