Calopogon tuberosus
(Linnaeus) Britton, Sterns, and Poggenburg
Calopogon, Grass Pink

LocationNewfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba.
Ranges extensively in eastern North America south to Cuba and the Bahamas. .
Specific Habitat

The Ottawa district is the northern part of the distribution of this orchid. It is a species of Deciduous, Mixed and Southeastern Coastal Plain Forest Regions and adjacent edges of Boreal Forest. It is normally in unshaded sites such as fens, soggy marl flats, or lush mats of sphagnum moss.

Flowering SeasonMid June to August.

Height: 10-35 cm.
Leaves basal, 1-2, linear and grass-like.
Raceme lax, flowers 3-8, rarely 12.
Flowers large, pink, rose-purple, or magenta-crimson, rarely white; opening successively. Dorsal sepal narrowly oblong, acute; lateral sepals ovate, oblique; lateral petals with a short claw, ovate-lanceolate or oblong elliptic, often tightly constricted. Lip uppermost with 2 lateral lobes and a prominent triangular middle lobe. Central portion of lip is densely bearded with short cream hairs with orange knobs. Fragrance rose-like or lacking.


Unlike most other orchids, there is no twist in the ovary, so the lip is uppermost in the flower. The lip is also unusually hinged at the base so that it bends forward when a bee settles upon it; thus, the insect is thrown down on its back against the column and becomes smeared with a sticky substance from the stigma. As the bee crawls out, the terminally located pollinia become attached to its sticky dorsal surface. When the bee alights on another Calopogon, the pollinia are transferred to the stigma of that flower.


Orchids of Ontario
Orchids of the Northeast
The Canadian Field-Naturalist Vol III-1
The Orchids of Bruce & Grey


© Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. Donald Gunn Image Collection.