Orchidaceae-piperia2017-08-17T16:56:49+00:00

Orchidaceae: Orchid Family — Piperia (Rein-orchid)

Elegant Rein-orchid / Coast Piperia – Piperia elegans subsp. elegans

Blooms:

May–Sept

Plant Height:

12–73 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Mainly coastal

Notes:

Like Michael’s and Wood/Elongate Rein-orchids (Piperia michaelii & elongata), this has a down-curving spur but, unlike them, its flowers are pure white with a dark green mid-vein and the inflorescence is more dense. The upper sepal is erect to forward-pointing and the lateral sepals are erect to spreading.  The lip is lanceolate and curved downwards. Flowers are fragrant but not clove-like.

Wood / Elongate Rein-orchid – Piperia elongata

Blooms:

May–July

Plant Height:

14–130 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Shaded places, generally inland

Notes:

This and Michael’s Rein-orchid (Piperia michaelii) have green to yellow-green flowers and a long, down-curving spur. This species is tall and slender with an inflorescence longer than the peduncle. The pale green flowers have sickle-shaped lateral petals and a narrowly triangular lower lip. The flowers are unscented.

Michael’s Rein-orchid – Piperia michaelii

Blooms:

Apr–Aug

Plant Height:

9–70 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Rare or endangered?

Yes – 4.2

Habitat:

Exposed locations near coast

Notes:

This is less tall than Wood / Elongate Rein-orchid (Piperia elongata) and its inflorescence is shorter than the peduncle. Flowers are a similar greenish-yellow color but can be distinguished by the broad, spade-shaped lower lip and the upright, somewhat concave upper petals. The spur is long, more or less curved and generally pointed down. The flowers are fragrant at night.

Transverse Rein-orchid / Flat-spurred Piperia  Piperia transversa

Blooms:

May–Aug

Plant Height:

12–57 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Generally dry sites, many communities

Notes:

This elegant, shade-loving Rein-orchid, with its long, slender inflorescence, is recognizable by its long straight spurs extending horizontally from the flower. The flowers are white to yellowish, the lateral petals having a green mid-vein. The upper sepal points forward through the erect upper petals. Flower are clove-scented.

Yadon’s Pipera / Rein-orchid – Piperia yadonii

Blooms:

June–July

Plant Height:

10–50 (80) cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Yes – 1b.1

Habitat:

Pine woodland and maritime chaparral

Notes:

This orchid, endemic to Monterey County, is named after Monterey Peninsula’s own Vern Yadon.  A tall, slender plant with congested flowers, it is similar to Elegant Rein-orchid (Piperia elegans) except for the diminutive white-rimmed, green lateral petals and the spur which is much shorter than those of other Rein-orchids. One unique feature of this Rein-orchid is the way the upper petals generally curve inwards like a horseshoe.