Ed Golson Outdoor Education

small whorled pogonia

Scientific  Name: Isotria medeoloides

Description:  This is a threatened plant species  in Michigan.  This plant can grow up to 25 cm. tall and produces only one or two flowers.  The stem that holds this flower up is hollow and green.  Those characteristics help us identify it more easily.  Having no fragrance or nectar, this plant seems to be self pollinating with no help of insects.  Once fertilization occurs, a seed capsule is produced with thousands of minute seeds in them.

Habitat:  Generally this species of plant grows in deciduous forests where there is open space, dryness, and the soil is acidic.  Most commonly this plant is seen in areas where there is much shrubbery and high sapling density.

Why is it threatened?  The loss of habitat is the biggest reason for being threatened.  Other reasons include using the plant too much for scientific purposes, and some studied populations have simply shown a decline for reasons unknown.

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