Wildflower Wednesday: Maybe an orchid?

Colored pencil sketch of a red-stalked, leafless wildflower with round seed capsules, found at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Could this be a coral root orchid? Enquiring minds want to know!

This unusual looking plant was growing by the side of the Bridle Trail in the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. It’s just under a foot tall, and is leafless with a dark red, subtly striped stalk.

Arizona wildflower, leafless, with a red stalk and round seed capsules.

I can hardly wait to find out what it is!

I immediately thought it might be a coral root orchid. Unfortunately, the seed capsules are roundish, and the two coral roots in Arizona have ovalish seed capsules. I sent in a photo to one of the rangers, who had said she would pass the information on to one of the botany specialists on staff.

If you have an inkling as to which species this might be, please drop me a line in the comment box! 🙂

Wouldn’t it be so exciting if it were an orchid?

Welcome Wildflower Wednesday link-partiers! The Wildflower Wednesday link party is the brainchild of Gail Eichelberger of Clay and Limestone blog. Go take a look at some of the exciting late-summer wildflower images people are sharing from their gardens and hikes. Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Wildflower Wednesday: Maybe an orchid?

    • Lucky you! 🙂 Orchids in New Mexico and Arizona usually grow in the high mountains, where it’s cooler and wetter.

    • The North Rim was quite a bit greener than the South Rim. I hiked the first part of the Widforss Trail, and there was a giant patch of Indian paintbrush trailside, not to mention lots of asters and daisy-type flowers!

    • Thank you Chloris! I will definitely post an update when the park rangers have made an ID. 🙂

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