Plants with amazing flowers...
Orchids are plants creating wealth and beauty of tropical forests. Everybody admires them for diversity of strange flowers. They grow as epiphytes, litophytes and in a soil. In Europe, especially in the Mediterranean area, orchids are mainly terrestial plants. They prefer calcareous habitat, however, one can also find them on swampy meadows or on acid peatbogs. The orchid flower is monosymmetric with three outer sepals, two normal petals and the third one developed in the form of a lip. Inside of the flower we can observe a special organ called gynoecium, i.e. female and male structures joint together. The lip is evolutionary very complicated to interact perfectly with different kinds of pollinators like wasps, bees, moths, butterflies, birds and bats. In European orchids such a flower specialization one can observe in the genus Ophrys
. Orchids are also common components of the mountain flora. In SummitPost a beautiful album on orchids is presented by Gangolf Haub. Among Polish mountains the Pieniny Mts. have an interesting vegetation of orchids. Many species are growing on beautiful meadows blossoming in spring and summer. In all the area, between Wysoka Mt. (1050 m asl) and the city of Nowy Targ, a western part of the Pieniny Klippen Belt, we can find orchids. Some like Platanthera bifolia
, Gymnadenia conopsea
or Dactylorhiza maculata
are rather common, others like Ophrys insectifera
, Orchis coriophora
, Pseudorchis albida
or Epipactis atrorubens
are rare. Each orchid species can be determined with the use of various keys or beautiful albums, however, some groups of species are very complex taxonomically. Examples of the large intra-group variation there are Dactylorhiza maculata
, D. majalis
or Epipactis helleborine
. All these orchids grow in the Pieniny Mts. In Poland all orchids are strictly protected. In this album I present orchid plants documented in the Pieniny Mts. during my trekking this June (June 15-19, 2010).
The most recent information on the Pieniny orchids is provided by my friend, Professor Ludwik Frey from Cracow in an article published in Prace Pienińskie 19: 51-64 (2009).
It will be continued…………