Orchids are real stunners, and if you thought you could only grow them with a greenhouse or a tropical climate, think again. Calopogon orchids are just one of several types of orchids that are native to North America. With the right Calopogon information and the right environment, you can grow these beautiful orchids in your temperate garden.
What are Calopogon Orchids?
Calopogon, also known as grass pink orchids, is a group of orchids that are native to North America. They produce pink blooms that range from more white to brighter magenta, and that are upside down compared to other orchids. The labellum is at the top instead of the bottom of the flower. These orchids do not have nectar, so they use deception to get pollinators. They mimic flowers that do produce nectar and are able to attract pollinators that way. Native to North America and parts of the Caribbean, the Calopogon orchids grow in bogs and wetlands. They may also grow in prairies where there are wet depressions. They require constant moisture, just like their native habitats, in order to thrive. The grass pink orchid blooms in spring and into early summer.
Growing Native Calopogon Orchids
Growing Calopogon orchids can be tricky unless you have the right habitat for them. These are wetland flowers, which means that they won’t grow well in a typical garden bed or meadow. They need to grow in or at the edge of water. The best position is at the side of a stream so that the roots, which are susceptible to disease, get fresh, clean water. You can try growing grass pinks at the edge of a pond, but disease is a risk. Calopgon orchids, like other native orchids, are rare. They should never be collected from the wild for this reason. If you are interested in adding these lovely flowers to your water garden, find a nursery that cultivates them. Your local nursery is not likely to carry these orchids, but you should be able to find one that will ship the orchids right to your door.
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Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.
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