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Orchid Added to Harvard Forest Flora

August 1, 2009
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Purple Fringed Orchid

After even the most careful botanical survey, the woods reveal new and lovely surprises. Purple-fringed orchid, first observed in the Simes Tract of Harvard Forest in July 2008, was tentatively identified this season as a species never-before recorded at the Harvard Forest: Platanthera grandiflora, the greater purple fringed orchid. While its congener, the lesser purple fringed orchid (Platanthera psycodes) was observed elsewhere on the Forest in 1933 and 1947, this species is a new addition to the flora. While widespread throughout much of the Northeast, it is not particularly common.

The Harvard Forest Flora: An Inventory, Analysis, and Ecological History, by Jerry Jenkins (Bullard Fellow), Glenn Motzkin (HF Ecologist) and Kirsten Ward (REU Student) received the the 2009 Cooper Award from the Ecological Society of America. The William Skinner Cooper Award is given to honor an outstanding contributor to the fields of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession, or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients. 

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