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Green Adder’s Mouth Orchid
Malaxis unifolia

There are 25 species of orchids native to the Northern Shenandoah Valley. This is one of them! I have NOT seen it flower, but I remember where I found it, so I hope to catch it next year. It was so hard to identify this one, and I think I have the Virginia Native Plant Society FB group to thank for help in identification.

When I first saw this I thought maybe it was some kind of fern, but it turns out it’s a funky orchid, with teeny tiny flowers that are pollinated by mosquitos and gnats.

Alternate Names: Wooly Mullein
Size: up to 50cm tall
Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Habitat: Prefers swamps, bogs, wet areas (streambanks) in forests.
Identification: Single leaf, sometimes two. It shoots up a stem with up to 160 small yellow/green flowers. Blooms in the spring/summer in the north, and fall in the south.
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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