Other Bog Plants

Rose pogonia orchid Rose pogonia orchids (Pogonia ophioglossoides) or 'snake-tongue-like' bloom in April, and their pink to white scented flowers can be seen all over East Texas seeps and bogs growing along pitcher plants.   The fringe (tongue) is dark red at maturity.   Tall stems hold 2-3 flowers each and form large colonies.  The hundreds of tiny seeds are carried by the wind to other seepage bogs, where they may land next to the right material left by other plants, which will give the seeds enough nutrients to produce flowers.

grass-pink orchid Grass-pink orchids (Calopogon pulchellus ) start blooming after the Rose Pogonia orchids are done.   They display pink to purple flowers with yellow-orange and crimson hair on the lip.   Found as far south as Tyler Co., as west as Leon Co., and as north as Henderson Co., they are pollinated by bees, which carry the pollen from orchid to orchid.

Only a bee's body is the right size so that when one sits on the upper lip of this Texas orchid and weighs it down, the bee will touch the pollen on the lower part of the flower.  Like with other insects and orchids, some believe that bees may be attracted to the upper lip of grass-pink orchids because of a perceived similarity to another bee.

An early bloomer (March 30) ! The large whorled pogonia orchid (Isotria verticillata) grows in the wet, sandy forests and bogs of E. Texas.   A hollow, purplish stem grows from a rhizome and ends in a whorl of five leaves, above which grows a single brown-purple and yellowish-green unscented flower displayed like a pinwheel.   This perennial does not necessarily bloom every year.   When it does, it starts in late March and flowers through August.   The flowers last less than a week.  

This five-leaved orchid does not necessarily bloom every year Having seen them only under or near beech trees indicates a dependent relationship with the trees and with related fungi.   Found in the Big Thicket, particularly in the Beech Creek Unit in Tyler Co. and surrounding counties, it can form good-size patches with multiple stems growing out of the same rhizome.  

Isotria is related to Pogonia and is comprized of only two species, the other being I. medeoloides, the endangered 'Small Whorled Pogonia'.   When not flowering, young plants of Indian cucumber-root can be mistaken for the small whorled pogonia which does not survive in cultivation.