|Southern Twayblade (Listera australis)|
This small plant is in the orchid family. Matthew Herron, a graduate student in biology, spotted it today at the Charles Allen Biological Station (CABS) near Copenhagen, La. I have identified it--I hope correctly--using the wonderful "Louisiana Wildflower Guide," by Charles Allen, Kenneth Willson and Harry Winters. In fact, this is probably two plants growing close together.
Matt and about a dozen students were at CABS today to do clean up and I tagged along to document proceedings. Matt bent down to pick up a piece of trash and spotted this little beauty. As the book states, "This species is probably more common than the records indicate, as it is easily overlooked due to its size." We did not measure these, but I'd guess the tallest stalk to be about 8 inches.
Way to go, Matt! Although the wildflower guide lists quite a few orchid species that grow in Louisiana, this was my first opportunity to see one in the wild. Now I know what to look for!