Epipactis gigantea ‘Serpentine Night’
ORCHIDACEAE, The Orchid family
This unusual beauty has been blooming for a few weeks. The foliage is so gorgeous I didn’t have many expectations beyond that, so I was pleasantly surprised by the trusses of rust and gold blooms it put out. It’s a North West native orchid that grows in the Columbia River Gorge. Like many orchids in North America it is terrestrial, happy to live in soil, as opposed to many tropical orchids. The kinds bought as decorations are epiphytic and get their nutrients and moisture from rainfall and nutrients leaching through the canopy.
This orchid is hardy to USDA zone 6 or so and likes moist soil in partial shade. It may go dormant during the dry season. I planted it between a hardy impatiens and a purple veined fern, with a codonopsis vine off to the side and a hardy gardenia which will be a nice back drop if it every grows.