Arethusa bulbosa (Dragon's Mouth) - photos and description











General: Beautiful, little orchid found in bogs in the boreal forest. Plants slender with a single stem. Stems glabrous.

Flowers: The flowers are bright pink to rose in colour, and have a large lower lip which curves abruptly downwards. The lip is white with pink markings, and has yellow bearded crests. The flower’s two lateral petals form an arch over the lip. The lateral petals and three sepals are all pink in colour. The three sepals grow upright behind the petals.

Flower measured to 5 cm long, lower petal 20 mm long by 15 mm wide. I have observed that some plants have fragrant flowers.

Leaves: When flowering, leaves consist of two sheaths clasping the stem, alternate. Plants of the Boreal Forest and Aspen Parkland notes that a single leaf on lower half of stem becomes apparent after flowering.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 30 cm, we've measured plants to 20 cm tall.

Habitat: Acidic bogs in the boreal forest.

Abundance: Very rare, ranked as an S2 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 4th, June 12th, and June 14th in a pitcher plant bog in east-central Saskatchewan.