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A Beautiful Weed

When I first spotted this Helleborine Orchid (Epipactis helleborine)in the garden I thought it was a type of Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum).  The leaves look similar, to me anyway.  Once it flowered, I realized it’s something I haven’t seen before.  After a few searches I discovered that it’s a Helleborine orchid, a non-native and considered invasive in many states.  The plant was introduced from Eurasia for medicinal and decorative purpose in 19th century.  Another name for this orchid?  A ‘Weedy’ orchid.  I didn’t know orchids could be weedy.

Invasive or not I love it.  This is the first year it grew in our garden.  I have no idea where it came from but I’m glad that it decided to settle in our garden.  I don’t even have to take care of it.  It produces plenty of tiny little orchids on small stems.  I didn’t get to smell the flowers so I can’t tell if they are fragrant, but there are ants on them so they probably have plenty of nectar.  

It’s a beautiful gift from nature  that I gratefully accept.

Tiny orchids on a foot long stem

Tiny orchids on a foot long stem

Another look

Another look

Beauty up close

Beauty up close