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Rattlesnake Weed
Hieracium venosum

It’s the flower of this native orchid that resembles the “rattle” end of a rattlesnake. This lovely little evergreen is easy to spot on the forest floor, especially in the winter.

Here’s something about orchids from Wildflowers & Plant Communities: Orchid seeds lack an endospearm (i.e. stored food), so they depend on a symbiotic relationship with a specialized soil fungus for seed germination and seedling growth. The change of a seed encountering an appropriate fungus is very small. For this and other limiting factors, only a tiny fraction of the seeds produced develop into seedlings. Orchid seedlings develop so slowly that it may take 5-10 years or more before a plant is large enough to flower.

So, every orchid you see is truly a miraculous gift!

Alternate Names: Rattlesnake Hawkweed, Robin's plantain
Size:  up to 18" tall.
Family: Asteraceae (Aster Family) 
Habitat: Dry open woods, thickets, and clearings. 
Identification: This is a hairy plant that has a small rosette of green leaves with purple or red veins. The yellow ray flowers appear on a tall stem  Blooms May-September

All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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