Shoo fly, don’t bother me..

Orchids are unique, beautiful, rare, fragile and perhaps dozens of other adjectives. The Greenfly Orchid (Epidendrum magnoliae) is the only epiphytic orchid in Georgia and it is on the protected “watch” list – not quite endangered – yet. Epiphytic is one of those 25 cent words that means growing on something else but not parasitic. The Greenfly Orchid is the only orchid epiphyte in Georgia and locally common in magnolia and live oak communities in South Georgia. It is frost resistant and can also be found in coastal areas of South Carolina and along the Gulf Coast except Texas. The name, Greenfly, may refer to its resemblance to a Green Fly or perhaps a pollinator although most botanists believe a night moth is the principle pollinator.

The Greenfly Orchid is definitely green and has a strong nightly scent suggesting a night moth might visit. Each bloom is about 3/4 inch across.
I don’t see any resemblance to a Green Fly.
Greenfly Orchid on a host tree. The tree is not damaged since the orchid is not parasitic.

Greenfly Orchids bloom in all months except Winter and can have several blooming periods each year. Thousands of wind-born seeds are produced but the seeds do not have any stored food and will not sprout unless they land on the perfect combination of wood moss or in a bark crevasse. The leaves are fleshy elongated, and several inches long and easy to spot in dryer seasons when surrounding vegetation begins to wilt.

This old tree is covered with Resurrection Ferns which turn green after a rain. When they wilt, the Greenfly Orchids can be seen between the ferns and moss.
The Greenfly Orchid can produce dozens of blooms on each plant.
You would have to travel to Florida and points south to see other epiphytic orchids of which there are thousands of varieties. Remember, Georgia has only one variety – the Greenfly Orchid.
In its own way, the Greenfly Orchid is unique and a beautiful wildflower.

I like this intro to Georgia orchids and apparently there are about thirty native orchids in Georgia. Next time we will visit with a few more.

1 thought on “Shoo fly, don’t bother me..

  1. I can see the resemblance!! Good Morning!

    Like

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